Daily casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau has accelerated in volume to approximately MOP830 million (US$102.7 million) in the week ended March 18, suggested several analysts covering the gaming sector.
“We estimate daily GGR accelerated to around MOP830 million last week, lifting [circa] 26 percent year-on-year and 14 percent sequentially versus the prior week,” said analysts at Japanese brokerage Nomura in a Monday memo.
The Nomura team said that month to date it estimated average daily VIP volume was tracking about 8 percent to 9 percent lower than February, while VIP hold percentage is about 3.0 percent. Mass-segment GGR per day had been tracking down roughly 8 percent sequentially, the analysts added.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said that according to its own channel checks, Macau’s VIP segment benefited from high hold percentage in the week ended March 18.
“VIP hold has edged up to a more normal level for the month (thus the week likely saw high hold). VIP per day volumes are still down high single digits compared to February,” said the Sanford Bernstein team in a Monday note.
The brokerage estimated Macau’s GGR in the first 18 days of the month at MOP13.9 billion, an average daily rate (ADR) of approximately MOP772 million.
“The month-to-date ADR number is -11 percent compared with February and -9 percent from January. Month-to-date ADR is +13 percent versus March 2017,” said the Sanford Bernstein analysts.
Nomura stated in its Monday’s note that it still expects full-month GGR to grow circa 15 percent year-on-year in March.
“Assuming the sequential lift in March (from February) is in line with the trailing six-year median, or up [about] 1 percent sequentially, March GGR should settle around MOP24 billion to MOP25 billion,” said the Japanese brokerage.
It added: “The midpoint of estimate range assumes [about] 15 percent year-on-year growth in March, implying 900 basis points of sequential GGR growth acceleration (we expect a slight pickup in GGR/day toward the end of the month, as a result of the annual junket spring dinner) versus February’s 6 percent lift (January and February combined lifted 20 percent year-on-year).”
Assuming a daily GGR of up to MOP780 million, Sanford Bernstein said it estimates an increase in March of up to 13 percent from the prior-year period. “Should VIP hold increase or VIP volumes improve materially, GGR growth could surprise on the upside,” it added.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau