Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 22.6 percent year-on-year in November, to MOP23.03 billion (US$2.86 billion), according to data released on Friday by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known by its Portuguese-language acronym DICJ.
On Monday several brokerages covering the Macau casino sector had issued notes anticipating at least 18 percent year-on-year GGR growth.
The November GGR result marked the 16th consecutive month of year-on-year GGR growth in the market.
The latest monthly GGR result meant the Macau market’s tally for the first 11 months of 2017 stood at MOP243.04 billion, up 19.5 percent from the prior-year period, according to the official data. GGR for the first 11 months of 2017 already surpassed the figure recorded for full 2016, when the city’s casinos recorded aggregate GGR of MOP223.2 billion.
Analysts DS Kim and Sean Zhuang of JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, said in a Friday note the MOP768 million (US$95.5 million) average daily revenue implied by the November result was the “best non-holiday” daily performance “in three years, only topped by this year’s October Golden Week and Chinese New Year demand.”
The institution added it represented the fifth consecutive month that Macau GGR had beaten market expectation.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd described the November tally as “wildly ahead of expectations”.
“We continue to voice caution about the strength (and volatility) surrounding VIP,” stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Cathy Huang, referring to the high roller segment.
“High hold rates in VIP along with continued volume strength creates volatility and lack of ability to more accurately forecast the monthly trend,” they added.
Grant Govertsen, analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, said his brokerage estimated November’s VIP GGR had expanded “at or above” a 30 percent rate judged year-on-year.
“As we’ve noted previously, Macau continues to see a better-quality gaming customer even as the headline official visitation rate suggests only modest growth. In other words, lower-quality visitors are generally being replaced by higher-quality visitors,” the analyst stated, attributing this in part to “a greater number of hotel rooms available to marketing teams that can then be allocated to high quality players”.
An August note from Japanese brokerage Nomura said a circa 12-percent increase in Macau hotel room supply due over the “next six to 12 months” could have a negative impact on revenue per available room in the market for the hotel operators.
The number of hotel rooms in the Macau market stood at 37,000 as of October 31, according to data released on Thursday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
(Updated Dec 1, 4.55pm)
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”Ramp ups [of new Macau casinos] are taking a little bit longer. The market is somewhat volatile at the moment, but we continue to look at all the opportunities and are still very comfortable that things are starting to move ahead”
Chief executive of MGM China Holdings