Macau’s March casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) growth of 18 percent year-on-year represented the highest average daily revenue for the city in two years, in terms of a non-holiday period, said brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd.
“Average daily revenue came in at MOP685 million [US$85.6 million] per day, the strongest non-holiday print in two years, and almost comparable to the recent October level (which is typically the strongest month of the year),” wrote the institution’s analysts DS Kim and Sean Zhuang in a Saturday note.
It followed the publication that day by the local regulator – the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – of the official March numbers.
Casino GGR for the month was MOP21.23 billion, while the tally for the first three months of the year was up 13 percent, at MOP63.48 billion.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein noted that March’s result represented the “eighth consecutive month of growth” in Macau casino GGR judged year-on-year.
Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd said in a Saturday note it estimated VIP revenue had expanded by at least 22 percent in March, contributing to a market tally that “handily beat” market consensus “for the second consecutive month”.
“While a detailed breakdown of GGR for first quarter 2017 won’t be available for another two weeks, we estimate that VIP GGR likely grew at a rate of 22 percent to 25 percent during March, and mass continues to grow in the low double digits or low teens,” wrote the brokerage’s analyst Grant Govertsen. He was referring to the fact the gaming bureau is due to issue the first-quarter market split between mass and VIP at a later date.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc said in its Saturday note that it was revising upward its full-year estimate for Macau casino GGR growth by two percentage points – from 10 percent year-on-year to 12 percent – in the light of the March number and the first-quarter result.
Explaining one of the reasons why they didn’t wish to push up their estimates further at this stage, analysts Carlo Santarelli and Danny Valoy stated: “The second quarter has been softer than the first quarter over the last three years from an absolute dollar GGR perspective, [but] we expect the negative delta to narrow in 2017 and are projecting just a 4 percent sequential slowdown [in the second quarter].”
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China