Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 3.2 percent year-on-year in October, according to data released on Friday by the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
The body – also known as DICJ – said such GGR was MOP26.44 billion (US$3.28 billion) for the month, compared to just under MOP27.33 billion in the prior-year period.
The month includes the autumn Golden Week holiday period in China that encompasses the country’s National Day on October 1.
“We estimate VIP GGR fell about 20 percent year-on-year while mass grew low-teens year-on-year, pretty much in line with third-quarter trends,” said analysts DS Kim, Jeremy An and Derek Choi of JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, in a Friday note on the October numbers after the Macau government’s announcement.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said in its memo following the October GGR numbers that it “preliminarily” estimated November GGR would be “-6 percent to -3 percent year-on-year”, noting the latest Bloomberg estimate was for a 5-percent GGR decline.
“We continue to voice caution about the volatility surrounding VIP,” said Sanford Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu.
They added: “Significantly-shifting hold rates in VIP creates volatility and lack of ability to more accurately forecast the monthly trend.”
October’s result meant that the aggregate of Macau casino GGR for the 10 months to October 31 stood at MOP246.74 billion, a contraction of 1.8 percent year-on-year.
In respective Tuesday notes to investors in Macau casino stocks, several brokerages said that SJM Holdings Ltd – which reported its unaudited third-quarter results highlights that day – had been “upbeat” about its October gaming business performance trends and the implications for the rest of the fourth quarter. That was despite the casino firm missing third-quarter estimates of some analysts.
On Wednesday, when rival Macau licensee Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd reported its third-quarter earnings, the chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau Lung said there were signs of stabilisation in the VIP segment during October.
In the third quarter, Macau VIP GGR declined market wide by 22.5 percent year-on-year, showed data released on October 17 by the city’s government.
Updated 1.55pm, Nov 1
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“The key focus is digging ourselves, together with the other five operators, out of hole that Macau has been in for the last three years”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman of casino operator Melco Resorts