Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured), said on Friday the local government was forecasting casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) would continue to expand in 2018.
Commenting on the revenue performance of the city’s gaming industry in the current year, Mr Leong told reporters the government now expected market-wide GGR for full 2017 to post double-digit growth compared to 2016. He said that meant GGR had outperformed the government’s initial forecast for the full year.
“Casino sector revenue is posting stable and positive growth,” Mr Leong said, as quoted by public broadcaster TDM.
“We believe [GGR] will continue to increase at a rate above one single digit and that [full-year 2017 GGR] will be better than last year’s,” benefiting from several non-gaming events scheduled for Macau in November and December, he added. The internationally-known Macau Grand Prix motor racing meeting – an annual event – this year takes place from 16 to 19 November.
Quoted in a government release, Mr Leong further stated that, under current market trends, the government expected gaming-related tax revenue to go up in 2018, fuelled by an increase in GGR. Mr Leong did not provide an estimate for GGR growth in 2018.
The Macau government in November last year forecast GGR to come in at MOP200 billion (US$25 billion) in full 2017, an average of MOP16.6 billion per month. That was the same number the government had forecast for 2016.
Macau’s 2016 GGR declined 3.3 percent, to MOP223.2 billion, compared to the previous year, showed official data.
The local market’s GGR tally for the first 10 months of 2017 stood at nearly MOP220 billion (US$27.5 billion), up 19.2 percent from the prior-year period, according to data released last week by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
Casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd in September said the opening of its under-construction new resort on Cotai would be moved to January 29, 2018. MGM Cotai had been scheduled for a fourth quarter 2017 launch. Several investment analysts covering the gaming sector had said the property’s previous opening date had been expected to support GGR growth in the final quarter of 2017.
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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