Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 5.7 percent year-on-year in February, to MOP24.30 billion (US$3.01 billion), according to data from the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, released on Thursday.
The latest monthly result puts the market’s accumulated 2018 year-on-year growth at 19.7 percent, or MOP50.56 billion.
February included the Chinese New Year holiday, which typically sees a spike in visitor numbers and in GGR, although a number of investment analysts have pointed out that at other times of the year Macau visitor volume is not necessarily a predictor of GGR volume.
Macau’s visitor tally in the seven days of the Chinese New Year holiday – between February 15 and 21 – rose by 6.5 percent year-on-year to 963,265, according to preliminary figures reported by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
“Clearly there was a rather sharp drop-off in GGR as the Chinese New Year holiday came to a close, with the holiday period seemingly front-end loaded (the first weekend was busier than the second),” said analyst Grant Govertsen of Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd in a note following Thursday’s February GGR announcement by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
He added: “We expect low/mid-teens growth in March, suggesting total first quarter 2018 growth of around 18 percent. The March calendar is favourable with one additional Saturday relative to last year.”
(Updated at 13.55pm, Mar 1)
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"The stronger mass growth [in Macau in the second quarter] should be viewed positively vis- à-vis [the] government’s stated priority”
Japanese brokerage Nomura