Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for September fell by 11.7 percent year-on-year to MOP25.6 billion (US$3.2 billion), the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) said on Monday.
That makes it the fourth consecutive month of declines in GGR judged against year prior periods. It is also the most sustained retreat since the period between December 2008 and June 2009, shortly after the global financial crisis emerged.
The 11.7-percent drop is the sharpest decline since the current revenue downturn started: GGR dropped by 3.7 percent in year-on-year terms in June; contracted by 3.6 percent in July; and fell by 6.1 percent in August, data from the city’s gaming regulator show.
While VIP continued to be weak, the slowdown in mass revenue growth seemed to be gathering pace last month, analysts had warned.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp – parent of Macau-based casino operator Sands China Ltd – said last week that the VIP gambling business in Macau could see a recovery in a couple months.
Macau’s accumulated total casino gaming revenue for the nine months to September 30 is MOP275.9 billion, a year-on-year growth of 5.9 percent, said DICJ.
Several investment banks and brokerages have cut their full year revenue estimates for Macau recently.
Fitch Ratings Inc has cut its full-2014 growth forecast for Macau’s casino GGR to 4 percent, citing the weakness in the VIP segment. CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said late last month that 2014 casino revenue would drop 1 percent year-on-year.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group