A brokerage is anticipating that October’s Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) will be the highest monthly tally in absolute terms since “late 2014” on the back of strong performance during China’s early-October ‘Golden Week’ holiday.
“For October, we expect GGR to reach approximately MOP24 billion [US$2.98 billion] (+10 percent), which would be the highest absolute level of GGR since late 2014,” said a note from Grant Govertsen, an analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, following the September monthly GGR result issued on Sunday by Macau’s casino regulator.
Japanese brokerage Nomura estimated Macau’s October GGR growth could be even higher, at 13.5 percent year-on-year.
The last time monthly casino GGR topped MOP24 billion was in November 2014, when it stood at approximately MOP24.27 billion, according to data from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known by its Portuguese-language acronym, DICJ.
“Based on our conversations with junket operators over the past week, as well as similar casino operator commentary, October’s Golden Week holiday is shaping up to be exceptionally strong and we therefore expect strong initial GGR growth indicators over the early days of the month,” stated Union Gaming.
October’s Golden Week period encompasses China’s National Day on October 1. China’s State Council declared the 2017 holiday period as running for eight days from October 1 to 8, as it includes the lunar calendar-based Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year falls on October 4.
“For October, the Golden Week holiday will be the key driver of the month’s performance. It is too early to gauge how strong October may turn out, but we are preliminarily estimating low double-digit [percentage] growth,” said a Sunday note from analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Cathy Huang of brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
Hotel occupancy levels in Macau casino properties were shaping for strong performance during October Golden Week, according to data collated by GGRAsia in the run up to the holiday.
The Macao Government Tourism Office forecast last week that visitor numbers to Macau would rise by as much as 5 percent year-on-year during October Golden Week.
The tourism bureau said in a Monday press release – quoting information from the city’s Public Security Police, the agency that controls immigration checkpoints – that for the first official day of Golden Week on Sunday, total visitor arrivals to Macau fell 1.6 percent to 112,393, compared to the same time in October Golden Week 2016. The total number of mainland Chinese visitors this Sunday fell 1.1 percent year-on-year, to 82,678.
The data exclude arrivals by students and non-resident Macau workers.
(Updated 9.40am, October 3)
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”Given that the blanket casino closure [in Macau due to Typhoon Mangkhut] happened on an all-important weekend day… we expect that somewhere between MOP1.1 billion [US$136.2 million] and MOP1.5 billion in GGR will be lost”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia