VIP baccarat gross gaming revenue (GGR) market wide in Macau fell by 35.8 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter and 39.9 percent for the full-year of 2015, according to official data published on Tuesday.
Such VIP revenue was approximately MOP29.59 billion (US$3.68 billion) in the three months to December 31, compared to MOP46.06 billion the prior-year period. For full-year 2015, VIP baccarat GGR was approximately MOP127.82 billion, compared to approximately MOP212.54 billion in 2014
Mass-market gambling, including play from slot machines, declined by 14.5 percent year-on-year in the three months to December 31, and by 25.9 percent for the full year, said the local casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Such mass-market GGR for the three months to December 31 was approximately MOP25.24 billion, compared to MOP29.52 billion in the prior-year period.
Mass market revenue was 46.0 percent of all revenue in the fourth quarter 2015, compared to 39.1 percent in the fourth quarter 2014. For the full year, mass market revenue was MOP103.02 billion, compared to MOP138.99 billion for full year 2014.
It had already been announced on January 1 by the local gaming regulator that Macau’s total casino revenue for 2015 had slipped 34.3 percent year-on-year to MOP230.84 billion. That was a major deterioration from the 2.6 percent decline from the prior-year period seen in calendar year 2014.
Investment analysts were waiting for official confirmation of the split between VIP and mass revenue in the fourth quarter for any clues those data might give about the direction of the industry in early 2016. A number of analysts had pointed out – in notes issued at the end of 2015 – that after 19 straight months of year-on-year GGR decline, year-on-year comparisons in the first half of 2016 were likely to be easier than those between 2014 and 2015.
A note in early January from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in Hong Kong – quoting unofficial industry returns – estimated mass-market gambling contributed more than half of Macau’s December GGR. But the brokerage said its calculation included adjustments that sought to “rectify the distortion caused by the smoking-related reclassification of premium mass [gambling] and for other reporting shifts by certain operators”.
According to the data released on Tuesday, GGR from slot machines was approximately MOP2.95 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, down 5.8 percent on the MOP3.13 billion tally in the prior-year period.
For full-year 2015, slot revenue was approximately MOP11.75 billion, 18.6 percent down on the 2014 aggregate of MOP14.44 billion.
Revenue from live multi game products – those featuring table-style games with live dealers but electronic betting and electronic bet settlement – was MOP551 million for the fourth quarter 2015, compared to MOP595 million in the prior year period, a decline of 7.4 percent. Such revenue for calendar year 2015 was approximately MOP2.12 billion, compared to MOP2.26 billion in 2014, a fall of 6.2 percent year-on-year.
Wells Fargo Securities LLC said in a note on Friday the brokerage expected Macau’s January GGR to decline “in the mid-teens” of percent judged year-on-year. It noted that Chinese macroeconomic factors that could influence Macau gaming revenues during 2016 included indications that “China’s foreign exchange regulator wants to limit yuan outflows,” while “new non-performing loans held by Chinese banks more than doubled in 2015”.
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"The Hong Kong protests may hurt Macau gross gaming revenue by about mid-single-digit (i.e., half of maximum visitation exposure), which should fade away gradually as people will find alternative ways to visit Macau”
DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd