SJM Holdings Ltd, the operator of the Lisboa and Grand Lisboa casinos on the Macau peninsula, kept its leadership position in the Macau market in July.
The casino operator founded by Stanley Ho Hung Sun however saw its rivals gain ground, as its market share dropped to 24.1 percent in July from 24.9 percent in the previous month, according to industry figures compiled by GGRAsia on Friday.
Sands China Ltd’s market share increased to 23.1 percent last month, up from 22.0 percent in June.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd claimed a 20.6 percent share of the city’s gaming revenue last month, compared to 12.3 percent for Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
Wynn Macau Ltd saw its market share increase to 11.2 percent in July from 9.5 percent in the previous month. MGM China Holdings Ltd rounded the list with 8.8 percent of the market last month, down from 10.3 percent in June.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 3.6 percent year-on-year to MOP28.4 billion (US$3.56 billion) in July, the city’s gaming regulator said earlier on Friday.
Francis Tam Pak Yuen, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, told reporters after the data was released that the revenue slowdown would not affect the casino operators’ development plans for Cotai.
“We forecast that there will be annual growth of one digit,” he told reporters, according to public broadcaster Radio Macau.
Mr Tam added that some slowdown in revenue was “normal” considering the the development stage of the industry.
“Since the liberalisation of gaming the development in the beginning was very fast, so it is normal now to experience a stage of pause,” he stated.
GGR has now declined in June and July. It was the first time in more than five years that monthly casino GGR fell in year-on-year terms for two consecutive months.
“The rate of decline this month [July] was in line with last month’s [June’s] decline of 3.7 percent,” said Union Gaming Research Macau Ltd on Friday. “As we had expected, there was no meaningful post-World Cup bounce and our view remains that the primary driver of VIP weakness is political in nature,” analysts Grant Govertsen and Felicity Chiang said in a note.
The analysts said the VIP segment “remains down about 20 percent year-on-year, while mass market continues to track at a rate approaching +30 percent”.
An ongoing anti-corruption crackdown in mainland China and the fact that smaller junkets may be experiencing financial difficulties – which could reduce the amount of liquidity in the VIP system – “will keep the lid on any sort of VIP recovery for the time being,” the analysts said.
“We would expect VIP to continue to be soft over the near-term, and would expect overall GGR to continue to decline in the low single digits through the summer,” the research house added.
Macau casino stocks closed down between 1.44 percent and 2.35 percent in Hong Kong trading on Friday.
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“We expect Las Vegas Sands to not have any material change in strategy. The focus remains developing Macau and Singapore”
Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein