Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) per day rose by circa 32 percent year-on-year last week, said a Monday note from Japanese brokerage Nomura citing industry unofficial returns.
Such GGR was estimated at just under MOP1.09 billion (US$134.8 million), compared to MOP840 million per day in the prior week. The institution said VIP volume growth was tracking approximately 30 percent higher sequentially versus January’s average.
Banking group Credit Suisse AG said in a note last week that the information from major Macau junkets was that Macau VIP play volumes had been “choppy” at the start of 2019.
Nonetheless Nomura analysts Harry Curtis, Daniel Adam and Brian Dobson indicated in their Monday memo regarding the Macau market as a whole: “We expect much better year-on-year performance in February than we saw in January, given: a significantly easier February comp[arison], as GGR increased +36.4 percent in January last year versus only +5.7 percent in February ; and an earlier start of Chinese New Year this year (February 5 versus February 16 last year).”
Nomura estimated average daily mass revenue per day last week was circa 5 percent higher than the average in January.
Market-wide, investors should expect “around 10 percent growth” in GGR in year-on-year terms for February, added the Japanese institution.
A Monday note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd stated: “GGR last week was helped by increased visitation from high rollers who returned after the Chinese New Year Golden Week period…”
The institution’s analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu forecast a more modest year-on-year GGR growth for February of +2 percent to +5 percent, adding that a clearer picture was offered via an analysis of January and February combined.
“GGR in the first quarter will also likely be impacted by the continued enforcement of the smoking ban (began enforcement on January 1, 2019),” added the Bernstein team. That was a reference to the end – from January 1 onward – of a previous grace period for tableside smoking in Macau VIP rooms.
Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc, said in a Monday note, referring to February year-on-year growth in Macau GGR based on estimates up to February 17: “Consultant data is pointing to a range of +1 percent to +6 percent [GGR growth] for the month, versus the prior range of +1 percent to +5 percent as of February 10.”
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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