Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July fell by 3.6 percent year-on-year to MOP28.4 billion (US$3.56 billion), the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said on Friday.
It was the first time in more than five years that monthly casino GGR fell in year-on-year terms for two consecutive months. Monthly GGR was down 3.7 percent in June from a year earlier.
The last time monthly GGR declined for consecutive months was between December 2008 and June 2009, shortly after the financial crisis erupted in the U.S., according to data from Macau’s Statistics and Census Service.
Analysts said that the 2014 FIFA World Cup had an impact on GGR in Macau, as gamblers turned their attention and wagers to the international football tournament. The month-long tournament ended on July 13.
The average daily revenue was seen improving in the later part of July, supported by an increase in VIP play, pointed out several analysts.
Macau’s accumulated total casino gaming revenue for the year to July 31 is MOP221.5 billion, a year-on-year growth of 10.2 percent, said the city’s gaming regulator on Friday.
Analysts at Credit Suisse said in early July mass-market GGR in Macau might grow by 34 percent this year and 27 percent in 2015. The bank believes Macau’s gaming industry has bottomed in June.
VIP baccarat in the first half of 2014 accounted for 62 percent of all casino GGR in Macau. Revenue from VIP play was up 3.3 percent year-on-year to MOP119.7 billion in the first six months of the year, according to official data released earlier this month. In contrast, mass-market revenue was up 32 percent year-on-year in the same period.
The “weakness” in the more volatile VIP segment led Fitch Ratings Inc last month to revise downward its 2014 Macau GGR growth estimate to 10 percent. Deutsche Bank has also reduced its third quarter and full-year estimates for Macau.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau