Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for August fell by 35.5 percent year-on-year to MOP18.62 billion (US$2.33 billion), according to data released on Tuesday by the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. It was the 15th straight month of GGR retreat measured year-on-year.
The August numbers mean that Macau’s accumulated GGR for the eight months to August 31 now stands at MOP158.88 billion, a fall of 36.5 percent on the same period in 2014.
The rate of year-on-year decline in August increased by 1 percentage point compared to July.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in Hong Kong had said – in a note on Tuesday ahead of the Macau government numbers – it expected August GGR would come in at MOP18.3 billion, representing a year-on-year decline of 37 percent. That estimate was based on unofficial daily industry returns, noted analysts Vitaly Umansky, Simon Zhang and Bo Wen.
Richard Huang and Stella Xing of Japanese brokerage Nomura stated – in their Tuesday note prior to the official data – that a slowdown in gaming market revenue was not confined to Macau. Such decline “was seen across the region, with most gaming markets experiencing EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation] declines in the first half of 2015,” they stated.
Nomura added: “Hong Kong luxury retail sales were also down 15 percent in first half 2015, while China lottery sales were down 25 percent during June to July 2015.”
Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank AG in New York said in an August statistical review of the gaming industry that the institution expected Macau GGR to decline by 33 percent year-on-year during calendar year 2015, to approximately US$29.49 billion.
The bank estimated VIP would spearhead the retreat with a decline of 39.7 percent in yearly GGR, while it suggested the mass gambling segment would retreat by 22.7 percent year-on-year. In both segments however, Deutsche Bank indicated a sequential slowing in decline between the third and fourth quarters of 2015; with mass decline possibly easing by as much as 22.1 percentage points, and VIP decline easing by a more modest 3.5 percentage points.
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance