Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 17.4 percent year-on-year in January to MOP23.75 billion (US$2.97 billion), extending to eight months the losing streak in Macau revenue, data from the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed on Monday.
It follows a December tally that fell 30.4 percent year-on-year to MOP23.29 billion.
Last year casino revenue fell by 2.6 percent to MOP351.5 billion from 2013, according to official data. It was the first calendar-year revenue decline since the liberalisation of the industry in 2002.
In a note before the official results were announced on Monday, analysts at Credit Suisse AG said the expected better results in January versus December were “mainly luck driven, and not a true recovery”.
“In our view, improvement in the average daily revenue … is mainly VIP luck factor-driven and not a reflection of underlying volume growth,” said Kenneth Fong and Isis Wong.
“Besides, as December GGR was hurt by traffic control around President Xi [Jinping’s] visit, January improvement mainly represents a normalisation rather than a fundamental change,” they added.
The prolonged slump in the sector has been blamed by investment analysts on the Chinese government’s campaign to rein in conspicuous spending and corruption. That, coupled with a stricter transit visa system, is likely to continue to hurt VIP and mass-market gambling in Macau this year, they said.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group