Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 22.2 percent year-on-year in March, to MOP25.95 billion (US$3.21 billion), according to data from the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, released on Sunday.
The latest monthly result puts the market’s accumulated 2018 year-on-year growth at 20.5 percent, or MOP76.51 billion.
Commenting on Macau’s March GGR figures, Praveen Choudhary and Jeremy An from investment bank Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd said: “We believe that March GGR benefited from junkets’ annual and spring dinners (more than 6,000 guests joined) as well as a full month contribution from MGM Cotai’s 1,000 rooms and 150 odd mass tables.”
The former part was a reference to social events held for gambling clients and agents working with two of Macau’s largest licensed promoters of VIP play, organisations also known as junkets, respectively Suncity Group and Tak Chun Group.
MGM Cotai, a property operated by MGM China Holdings Ltd, was inaugurated on February 13. It is located in Macau’s Cotai district.
The Morgan Stanley analysts added: “Average daily GGR reached to MOP850 million/day in the first quarter of 2018, the highest level since 2015. If GGR continues at MOP850 million for the rest of 2018, 2018 GGR could be up by as much as 17 percent year-on-year, implying upside to our estimate of +16 percent year-on-year.”
Following the announcement of Macau’s March GGR figures, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc increased its forecast for the city’s casino sector performance in the April to June period. “On account of the upside to our March and first quarter 2018 forecasts, our second quarter GGR forecast goes to +15.3 percent from +14.2 percent,” wrote analysts Carlo Santarelli and Danny Valoy in a Sunday note. Their previous forecast was dated March 1.
(Updated at 9.40am, April 3)
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Chief executive of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings