Mass-market revenue as a proportion of all casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau continued to lead in the second quarter, despite a steep decline in GGR during the reporting period due to the Covid-19 health crisis. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ, issued on Thursday data regarding the second-quarter market split between revenue from VIP, table games, and electronic games.
In the breakdown of second-quarter 2020 casino revenue, mass-market GGR including slots was about MOP1.73 billion (US$216.3 million), down 95.5 percent compared to MOP38.74 billion a year earlier. It declined 89.0 percent from this year’s first quarter.
Mass-market revenue as a proportion of all casino GGR in the three months to June 30 stood at 53.53 percent, compared to 52.81 percent a year earlier. The mass-market segment has led in terms of revenue generated by the city’s casino industry since the start of 2019.
Mass-market baccarat GGR was nearly MOP1.06 billion in the second quarter, down 96.4 percent compared to MOP29.61 billion in the same period last year.
The regulator said in its latest announcement that second-quarter aggregate VIP GGR was just above MOP1.50 billion, down 95.7 percent compared to nearly MOP34.62 billion in the prior-year period. It was down 89.9 percent sequentially.
VIP revenue as a proportion of all casino GGR in the second quarter stood at 46.47 percent, versus 47.19 percent a year earlier.
It had already been disclosed on July 1 that Macau casino GGR was down 77.4 percent in year-on-year terms at just under MOP33.72 billion in the six months to June 30 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which started to affect the local tourism market in late January.
Several brokerages have pointed out that the Macau casino industry continues to suffer from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Although there had been some improvement in performance after market reopening – subsequent to local casinos being ordered to close for a 15-day period in February – there had been from late March additional border restrictions between Macau and neighbouring Guangdong province that had a negative impact on gaming revenue.
Investment analysts had flagged in recent commentary that VIP was likely “stronger than mass” each month since March, with revenue likely driven “by a very small number of players.”
Several brokerages have also suggested that existing border restrictions continue to limit the number of visitors to Macau. Travel arrangements have recently been eased, with a 14-day quarantine rule that applied to the majority of people travelling from Macau to neighbouring Guangdong province in the mainland removed on Wednesday (July 15).
Despite calling it a “step in the right direction,” investment analysts have said that “restrictive hurdles” on movement into and out of Macau remain, especially regarding the issuance of visas by the mainland authorities.
The Macau authorities have also strengthened this week restrictions on travel between Macau and Hong Kong due to a rising number of Covid-19 infections in the latter city.
According to the official data released on Thursday by the gaming regulator, GGR from slot machines was MOP432 million in the second quarter, down 88.4 percent versus MOP3.72 billion in the prior-year period. It declined by 72.1 percent in quarter-on-quarter terms.
Slot machines’ share of Macau second-quarter GGR was 13.36 percent versus 5.07 percent a year earlier.
Second-quarter 2020 revenue from live multi game products – those featuring table-style games with live dealers but electronic betting and electronic bet settlement – was MOP129 million, a fall of 81.4 percent versus MOP695 million a year earlier.
The number of live-dealer gaming tables in the Macau market stood at 5,869 in the second quarter this year, compared with 5,533 registered at the end of the preceding, first quarter. There were 6,734 live-dealer gaming tables in the second quarter of 2019.
The number of slot machines in the Macau market stood at 7,595 in the second quarter, compared with 7,216 in the previous three months, but down from 17,638 units a year earlier.
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”“We believe continued improvement in sequential (weekly/monthly) gross gaming revenue trends will serve as a tailwind for Macau stocks”
Carlo Santarelli and Steven Pizzella
Deutsche Bank analysts