A senior Macau official on Thursday said Macau’s June gross gaming revenue (GGR) might drop to about MOP16 billion (US$2 billion).
Lionel Leong Vai Tac (pictured), Secretary for Economy and Finance, added that many government bodies had already started what he referred to as “retrenchment measures” on public spending. His comments were reported by Macau Post Daily newspaper.
In April Mr Leong said the city’s government would have to consider spending cuts if Macau’s monthly gaming revenue fell below MOP18 billion.
But on Thursday he pledged that the annual cash handout to each Macau resident would be protected. “We won’t adjust social and medical services. For example, the wealth-sharing scheme,” said Mr Leong.
Mr Leong however stressed that in the previous few years June GGR had been sequentially lower than that of May. A MOP16-billion figure for June’s GGR would represent a 21.2 percent decline from May’s MOP20.3 billion and a 41.2 percent year-on-year fall.
In other developments, a report from brokerage CLSA Ltd said 65 percent of people from China’s Guangdong province – that it polled – only visit one casino per Macau trip, with 29 percent visiting two and only 6 percent visiting three. A total of 240 people from Guandong were surveyed, said the report.
“We expected more people to visit two to three casinos,” stated CLSA analysts Aaron Fischer and Marcus Liu.
The city’s casino operators put considerable effort into meeting and greeting arriving tourists at the main ferry ports and encouraging them to board one of the many free shuttle buses.
Nearly four out of 10 people surveyed by CLSA said they had visited SJM Holdings Ltd’s Grand Lisboa and Sands China Ltd’s Venetian Macao.
Among those polled, “36 percent of people said they visit Grand Lisboa and Venetian and these are the two most well-liked casinos in Macau. Wynn [Macau] and MGM [Macau] are the next most popular casinos with City of Dreams nearer the bottom,” stated the CLSA team, quoting the survey findings.
The highest ranked property from Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd was Galaxy Macau, in seventh spot, according to the survey.
Nearly 4 percent of those polled by China Reality Research on behalf of CLSA said they couldn’t remember the name of the casino they had visited. China Reality Research was described in a CLSA corporate brochure from 2010 as a “unit” of CLSA that is “dedicated to grassroots economic research on China”.
The average per head per trip gaming spend in the past three years among those questioned in the latest survey was RMB4,064 (US$654) and their travel spend was RMB2,929 (US$471).
“These numbers are high. Around 55 percent of people said they would spend the same over the next three years: 31 percent said [they would spend] more and 13 percent said less. This is positive,” stated CLSA.
But the brokerage added a note of caution, stating that “55 percent of people studied said they will visit Macau the same number of times over the next three years with 23 percent going more and 22 percent going less [frequently]. This is a negative sign considering the wave of new projects, but likely reflects the lack of knowledge around these new projects.”
Nonetheless the survey indicated that only 20 percent of those polled have cut trips to Macau due to anti-corruption, although “48 percent expect these [anti-graft] measures to strengthen over time – which we find surprisingly high,” said CLSA.
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”We expect Okada [Manila] to add US$1.2 billion of GGR by 2019 to the overall market, capturing 32 percent market share”
Alex Poon and Praveen Choudhary
Analysts at Morgan Stanley