Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd is likely to have seen in June a month-on-month boost to its market share of premium mass gambling busines, helped by a series of concerts from Hong Kong singer and actor Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, at the firm’s Venetian Macao casino resort (pictured), said Citigroup in a note.
“Sands’ market share in total premium mass wager observed rose by a whopping circa 14 percentage points month-on-month to approximately 37 percent,” wrote analysts George Choi and Ryan Cheung. A recent note from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, mentioned concerts at venues of several different Macau operators had probably boosted their respective gaming operations.
In Citigroup’s update, its analysts also gave one of their periodic snapshots of business on Macau casino floors, based on some recent observations.
Regarding Sands China, they wrote: “The number of players seen was 125 (May of 2023: 113). Average [premium mass] wager amounted to HKD27,303 [US$3,487],” compared to May’s observed average of HKD17,142.
They noted: “We attribute.. the findings… to the Jacky Cheung concert series.” The performer has been booked for a series of 12 concerts from June 9 to July 2 at Cotai Expo at the Venetian Macao on Cotai.
Market-wide, the number of premium mass players seen in the June survey rose by circa 12 percent month-on-month to 414, likely boosted not only by the Jacky Cheung concert series, but also a “long weekend” associated with the Dragon Boat Festival, according to Citigroup’s note. The average premium mass wager per player for the current month has “held up well”, at about HKD21,995, down by only 2 percent month-on-month.
Citigroup also referred to a Sands China-brand premium mass gaming club to be found at a number of its Cotai properties.
“The Apex room at Plaza [Macao] tops our premium mass survey with an average wager per player of approximately HKD96,500. The Apex room at the Londoner ranks second at approximately HKD53,438,” wrote Mr Choi and Mr Cheung.
The analysts also highlighted in their June survey, a high-value player that made a “HKD600,000 baccarat bet” at the Apex room at The Londoner Macao, from a “HKD10-million chip stack”. The analysts described it as the “single biggest chip stack” seen since Citigroup resumed its table survey in January this year after a pause during the pandemic.
Elsewhere on Cotai, Galaxy Macau – run by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd – had so far in June for the “second straight month” done best market-wide for aggregate premium mass wager, added the Citigroup team.
The analysts also noted that for the Macau market June survey, the aggregate of observed premium mass wagering was circa HKD9.1 million, up 9 percent on the May survey. “This is a positive surprise when compared to total [premium mass] wager observed in June of 2019 (which fell 32 percent month-on-month versus May of 2019, reflecting the usual seasonality,” wrote Mr Choi and Mr Cheung, referring to pre-pandemic trading.
Citigroup said it observed the number of premium mass players in June this year at about 75 percent the level of June 2019. The number of “whales” – described by the brokerage as a patron that has a bet size of HKD100,000-a-hand or more – was 16 in the current month, versus 15 in June 2019.
For the mass gaming segment this month, Citigroup said the average baccarat minimum bet was approximately HKD2,050, up circa 2 percent versus HKD2,004 in May.
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