Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau rose by 27.6 percent year-on-year in April, to approximately MOP25.73 billion (US$3.18 billion), according to data from the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, released on Tuesday.
It meant the Macau market’s GGR tally for the first four months of 2018 stood at nearly MOP102.24 billion, a year-on-year expansion of 22.2 percent.
Grant Govertsen, analyst at brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, said in a Tuesday note: “The growth came despite an unfavorable calendar with one fewer Saturday and was against a relatively tough comp of +16 percent. On a GGR per day basis, April’s MOP858 million was impressively in line with both of the recent holiday months: October (Golden week) at MOP859 million and the combined Jan/Feb (Chinese New Year) at MOP857 million.”
The brokerage said it was now forecasting second quarter GGR “to accelerate” relative to first quarter, adding that it had increased its second quarter forecast by 200 basis points to +22 percent.
Mr Govertsen added: “With GGR growth accelerating and both VIP and mass remaining above 20-percent growth, we remain bullish on the market and have a high degree of confidence in our +17 percent GGR forecast for the year with a bias to the upside.”
Last month brokerage Deutsche Bank Securities Inc increased its forecast for the city’s casino sector performance in the April to June period, following a stronger-than-expected first quarter.
“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,” said analysts Carlo Santarelli and Danny Valoy in a note on April 1. Their previous forecast was dated March 1.
Brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said in a memo last month that the Macau gaming market recovery “seems to be highly broad-based, encompassing all segments such as junkets (both big and small), premium/mid-tier mass, and grind mass”.
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"The Macau recovery continues to be disrupted by false starts, while the lack of [Chinese] public holidays for rest of the year should cap the pace of the rebound”
Andrew Lee and David Katz
Analysts at brokerage Jefferies LLC