Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) rose by 24.3 percent sequentially in May, to nearly MOP10.45 billion (US$1.31 billion), compared to MOP8.40 billion in April.
Judged year-on-year, May GGR was up 492.2 percent, according to data issued on Tuesday by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ.
GGR in May 2020 had been heavily impacted by countermeasures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Macau.
Aggregate casino GGR in the five months to May 31 this year stood at MOP42.49 billion, an increase of 28.7 percent on the MOP33.00 billion achieved in the first five months of 2020.
In the first quarter last year, the city’s casino sector had a strong performance in January, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Macau’s casino GGR for May 2021 was the highest monthly figure since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The result coincided with a five-day holiday period in mainland China at the start of the month, linked to Labour Day on May 1.
A Tuesday note from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd described Macau’s May GGR as a “respectable print… modestly above consensus”.
Analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Livy Lyu stated: “The daily run-rate has risen sequentially for six consecutive months to the highest post-pandemic print of MOP337 million versus MOP263 million in first-quarter 2021.”
The analysts added the May result implied “mass GGR has recovered to over 50 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels (i.e., May 2019), nearly a 10 percent jump from recent months.”
The official figures for market split between mass and VIP play will only be detailed by the regulator on a quarterly basis, once the June GGR information is published.
The Morgan Stanley banking group recently cut by 19 percent its estimate for Macau market casino GGR generated this year.
The institution said its downward revision was due to “continued delay” in easing of travel rules relating to movement between Hong Kong and Macau, and between mainland China and those places.
The banking group now thinks Macau’s 2021 GGR will be just under MOP130.19 billion, which would still be up 115.4 percent year-on-year on 2020.
Several industry figures have told GGRAsia that they think newly-reported cases of Covid-19 infection in mainland China – including some in Guangdong province neighbouring Macau – are likely to cloud, in the near-term, the enthusiasm of mainland residents to come to Macau as tourists, and might also delay steps to ease travel restrictions between the places.
(Updated 3.20pm, June 1)
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