Macau gaming operators’ expenses on complimentary accommodation and complimentary food and beverages offered to clients – commonly referred to in the casino industry as “comps” – increased 10.3 percent year-on-year in 2016. Such aggregate spending was MOP10.82 billion (US$1.34 billion) in 2016, compared to MOP9.81 billion in the previous year, according to data disclosed on Friday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The figures compiled by the statistics bureau include 2016 spending on complimentary rooms typically provided for VIP gamblers. It amounted to MOP6.55 billion, up 15.5 percent from the prior year.
Such accommodation may – depending on the value to the house of the VIP gambler and/or the individual casino’s arrangement with the junket bringing in the client – be offered to the player free of charge. The data did not provide a breakdown by gaming operator.
Casino operators spent MOP3.32 billion in 2016 on complimentary food and beverage services, a 6.1 percent increase year-on-year, the data additionally indicated.
The annual increase in comps provided by casino operators in 2016 coincided with a period of gaming revenue expansion in the second half of the year. Spending on comps had decreased 14.1 percent year-on-year in 2015, which coincided with a period of gaming revenue contraction in Macau.
Macau’s casino sector recorded gross gaming revenue of MOP223.2 billion in 2016, down 3.3 percent compared to MOP230.8 billion in 2015, show data from the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
The numbers compiled by the statistics bureau show that total 2016 gaming sector expenditure was MOP96.93 billion, down 4.8 percent year-on-year. Spending on goods, commissions paid and customer rebates reached MOP49.48 billion, a decrease of 13.2 percent year-on-year.
The gross value added by the Macau gaming industry to the city’s economy increased by 0.5 percent in 2016 in year-on-year terms, to MOP155.44 billion, according to the statistics bureau. The indicator measures sectoral contribution to the overall economy.
The data included Macau’s six casino operators, plus the Macau Horse Race Co Ltd, which has a monopoly on horse racing betting and runs the Macau Jockey Club; Macau (Yut Yuen) Canidrome Co Ltd (greyhound racing betting); Macao SLOT Co Ltd (football and basketball betting); and Sociedade de Lotarias Wing Hing Lda (Chinese lotteries).
The bureau added that gross fixed capital formation in the gaming sector reached MOP7.43 billion last year, up by 170.1 percent from 2015, “owing to the notable increase in acquisition of buildings and electronic gaming equipment,” a factor linked to the “completion of large-scale tourism and gaming facilities in 2016”.
The US$4.4-billion casino resort Wynn Palace, promoted by Wynn Macau Ltd, opened on August 22 last year. Macau market rival Sands China Ltd opened its US$2.7-billion Parisian Macao casino resort on September 13.
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”This [gross gaming revenue] target [for Macau operators] ... is probably introduced to improve overall efficiency of table utilisation, as most properties were meaningfully underutilised even pre-Covid”
DS Kim, Amanda Cheng, and Livy Lyu
Analysts at JP Morgan Securities