Macau VIP baccarat gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 15.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to government data released on Tuesday.
The rate of VIP decline was offset by the 18.6-percent growth recorded for GGR in the mass segment – inclusive of slot machine revenue – said the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ.
Gaming bureau data confirmed that second-quarter aggregate VIP GGR was slightly above MOP34.6 billion (US$4.30 billion), compared to nearly MOP41.04 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
In the breakdown of second-quarter 2019, mass-market GGR including slots was nearly MOP38.74 billion, compared to MOP32.67 billion a year earlier. Second-quarter mass-market revenue as a proportion of all casino GGR in the period stood at 52.8 percent, taking the quarterly lead in the Macau market for only the second time during the modern statistical era. The previous time was the first quarter this year.
VIP baccarat revenue as a proportion of all casino GGR in the second quarter stood at 47.2 percent in the three months to June 30. In the preceding, i.e. first quarter, it had been just under 48.9 percent.
Mass-market baccarat alone grew by 22.8 percent year-on-year in the latest quarterly breakdown, to nearly MOP29.61 billion, compared to MOP24.11 billion in the second quarter 2018. Mass-market baccarat had a 40.4 percent market share of Macau GGR in the second quarter this year.
A number of investment analysts had previously flagged to investors the benefit of growth in the typically higher-margin mass-market business.
The Macau market’s GGR tally for the first half of 2019 stood at about MOP149.50 billion, a year-on-year contraction of 0.5 percent, the government had confirmed when the GGR data for June had been issued on July 1.
According to the official data released on Tuesday, GGR from slot machines was approximately MOP3.72 billion in the second quarter, down 2.2 percent on the nearly MOP3.81 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
Second-quarter 2019 revenue from live multi game products – those featuring table-style games with live dealers but electronic betting and electronic bet settlement – was MOP695 million, an increase of 5.1 percent on the MOP661 million from the prior-year period.
The number of live-dealer gaming tables in the Macau market stood at 6,733 in the second quarter this year, compared with 6,624 registered at the end of the preceding, first quarter.
The number of slot machines in the Macau market stood at 17,638 in the second quarter, compared with the 17,296 in the second quarter 2018 and the 17,122 recorded as of March 31.
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DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd