Several estimates by brokerages regarding Macau’s monthly casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for October see a similar level or slight improvement over 2017′s year-high October data. In two pieces of research released since the weekend, the best estimate for October 2018 GGR was between 1 and 5 percentage points of growth.
In a note issued on Monday, Nomura Group’s Instinet LLC forecast that Macau’s October GGR would be somewhere around MOP27 billion (US$3.34 billion). That would be at least as high as October 2017, and at most, 5 percent more than a year ago.
Last week, the same research team forecast GGR this month would be between 5 percent and 10 percent greater in year-on-year terms. Analysts Harry Curtis, Daniel Adam and Brian Dobson had said that accelerating GGR growth over the September return had been driven by “stronger-than- expected demand during Golden Week”.
The New York City-based research team said fresh concerns about the Chinese economy was weighing on gambling junket collections, play volume and the liquidity of the cash-based mass-market gambling segment..
Instinet forecast that GGR averaged about MOP743 million last week. It now expects the daily GGR to average about MOP750 million for the rest of the month, having previously forecast an average daily GGR of MOP929 million.
A Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd note issued on Monday estimated this month’s GGR would be between MOP26.5 billion and MOP27 billion: at least the same as last October and at most 1 percent up on a year ago.
As with Nomura, Bernstein estimated that daily GGR averaged MOP743 million last week, and it and now expected daily GGR to average between MOP710 million and MOP740 million for the rest of this month.
“We continue to voice caution about the strength (and volatility) surrounding VIP,” the report said. “Significantly-shifting hold rates in VIP creates volatility and lack of ability to more accurately forecast the monthly trend.
“The devil remains largely in the details regarding the breakdown between VIP and mass and overall market share data (which is not clearly available) and, as such, the weight of the overall GGR number needs to be taken with a bit of scepticism, as weekly channel checks have proven to be less than accurate and volatile,” added the memo.
The Bernstein note was written by Hong Kong-based analysts Vitaly Umansky and Eunice Lee, and New York-based Kelsey Zhu.
Last October’s GGR was the highest monthly tally of 2017, at MOP26.63 billion, according to previously issued data from the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. On an annual growth basis, that was a 22.1-percent improvement.
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Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes
Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office