The four-day Macau Grand Prix road race festival (pictured in a file photo) due to be held in the third week of November is likely to have some dampening effect on demand for gambling, said a memo on Monday from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
“November 17 to 20 will see the Macau Grand Prix which often dampens revenues during those days,” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Yang Xie in a Monday note, referring to the street closures, traffic rerouting, noise and extra hotel bookings generated by the street circuit event. A major sponsor for the meeting is Macau casino junket investor Suncity Group.
Regarding the market outlook for November, Sanford Bernstein added that – based on checks of unofficial industry data – Macau’s aggregate casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first six days of November was likely to have been MOP3.5 billion (US$438.2 million), implying an average daily rate of MOP583 million.
“As expected, this is well below last month’s daily rate of MOP704 million, which included the Golden Week holiday, and below September’s average daily rate of MOP613 million,” wrote the Sanford Bernstein team, referring first to October gambling volumes, which are usually boosted by visitors during China’s National Day festivities.
The brokerage further noted that – assuming an average daily rate of MOP570 million to MOP590 million for the remainder of this month – November GGR would be in the range of between MOP17.2 billion and MOP17.7 billion, which would represent year-on-year growth of 5 percent to 7 percent.
David Katz and Brian Davis of Telsey Advisory Group LLC said in a Monday note: “Our sources indicate that the past week’s results incorporate an expected softening following an active October, which included the Golden Week holiday. The November month to date results may also be impacted by unlucky play, though the recently opened properties in Cotai should be expected to accelerate growth in the coming weeks.”
Analyst Cameron McKnight of brokerage Wells Fargo Securities LLC reiterated in a note the same day that November casino GGR typically produced lower volumes than GGR in October.
“Based on checks through November 6 we estimate November Macau gaming revenues +6 percent to +11 percent year-on-year, versus published consensus of around +7 percent,” wrote Mr McKnight.
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"We [estimate] that these illegal [currency exchange] transactions account for somewhere between 50 percent to 60 percent [of Macau's annual gross gaming revenue]”
Managing partner at IGamiX Management and Consulting