Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for August in the Macau market is tracking for a year-on-year decline of 3 percent, says Japanese brokerage Nomura. That would be the smallest year-on-year contraction since February, when the monthly tally was 0.1 percent down from the same month a year earlier. February included the typically strong trading period of the Chinese New Year holiday.
“For the first seven days of August, average daily gaming revenue (GGR), excluding slots, was down 5.5 percent week-on-week to HKD538 million [US$69.4 million], despite a lucky VIP win rate (3.2 percent versus normal of 2.85 percent),” said the Nomura team in a note on Monday.
The brokerage said that assuming an average daily GGR – excluding slots – of HKD520 million to HKD550 million for the remainder of August, would imply a monthly tally of HKD16.5 billion to HKD17.2 billion, “down 4 percent to up 1 percent year-on-year”.
Macau’s casino GGR for July fell by 4.5 percent year-on-year to MOP17.77 billion (US$2.22 billion), according to official data.
Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in Hong Kong said in a Monday note that – based on its channel checks – both VIP volume and mass segments saw a decline on a week-on-week basis in the first week of August, “with Typhoon Nida likely having an impact on visitation late Monday through Wednesday morning”.
Typhoon Nida hit the Pearl River Delta region with gale force winds and heavy rain last week. It led to the No. 8 storm warning signal being hoisted in Hong Kong and the suspension of flights and ferry sailings to and from Macau and Hong Kong.
Sanford C. Bernstein said it expects August casino GGR in the Macau market to show a decline of up to 3 percent or an increase of 3 percent from the prior-year period.
Several investment analysts covering the Macau gaming sector say they believe growth in the city’s casino sector could resume soon, ending a slump that started in June 2014. The sector could benefit from the opening of two major new casino resorts – Wynn Palace from Wynn Macau Ltd and the Parisian Macao from Sands China Ltd – on August 22 and September 13 respectively.
“Signs continue to suggest that the Macau market has stabilised in the literal sense and is at least declining at a narrowing rate. We believe the context for the opening of new properties in the coming weeks is therefore positive,” said analysts at Telsey Advisory Group LLC.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings