Citigroup says its Macau-market observations indicate an average premium-mass wager per player in November, of HKD22,251 (about US$2,855), a 37-percent increase when compared to its checks in the same month in 2019. In the banking institution’s survey for the month, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Sands China Ltd were in first and second spot respectively for market share of total premium-mass wager.
Citigroup’s latest survey was on Friday (November), coinciding with the main weekend of this year’s Macau Grand Prix meeting, the 70th edition of the event.
An “all-survey” high in terms of average premium mass wager per player had been observed in October, at HKD29,633, when the institution conducted its snaspshot research on the penultimate day of the autumn Golden Week holiday.
November’s aggregate in premium mass wager observed by Citigroup stood at circa HKD9.5 million, about 9 percent higher than the same month in 2019, achieved “with 21 percent fewer players seen”, said the institution’s analysts George Choi and Ryan Cheung.
“This translates into a significant circa 37 percent increase in average wager… versus November of 2019, suggesting player quality remains high,” they added.
Galaxy Entertainment had kept its “pole position” month-on-month, with a circa 38 percent market share in total wager observed, and with an average wager per player at HKD26,319 – making the operator with the highest average wager observed, the Citigroup team said. Sands China was “second” with circa 20-percent market share in the total premium mass wager survey.
Citigroup suggested in its Sunday memo that the strength seen in November for premium mass might have been sustained by two sets of concerts in the two days after the survey, i.e., Saturday and Sunday (November 18 and 19). They featured respectively Mandopop group Teens in Times, at Galaxy Entertainment’s Galaxy Macau resort’s Galaxy Arena; and Irish pop ensemble Westlife, at Sands China’s The Londoner Macao.
Mr Choi and Mr Cheung added, regarding demand for the non-gaming activity of shopping in Macau’s Cotai casino resort district: “Equally impressive is [Sands China's] the Shoppes at Four Seasons – it is difficult not to notice the scores of people queuing up in front of the Chanel and Hermes stores ,which were full of mainland Chinese shoppers”, indicating “resilient” demand from that dominant market demographic
Market-wide in terms of gambling demand, “the strength observed in premium mass this month seems to be, once again, driven by ‘whales’ – bet size of HKD100,000 per hand or more, by our definition. We saw 18 whales this month, five more than that in November 2019,” said the analysts.
Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd was “relatively quiet” in the premium mass segment performance witnessed this month, with a decline in market share of the total wager observed, from circa 20 percent in October, to 14 percent in November, noted Citigroup in its latest survey.
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"The six Macau casino operators should not be penalised for upping expenditure on player incentives, so long as their EBITDA margins are not materially diluted”
George Choi and Ryan Cheung
Analysts at Citigroup