The VIP gaming business of Macau junket investor Tak Chun Group recorded an almost 30-percent growth in 2017, the firm confirmed to GGRAsia.
Several Chinese-language media outlets had reported on Monday – citing comments by a company official at an event on Sunday – that Tak Chun’s business had expanded last year. The yardstick of measurement – whether VIP gross gaming revenue or rolling chip turnover – was not mentioned on the reports.
“It was a bit flat last year. But the growth started in October in a rapid rate, going from zero to 30 percent or 40 percent,” Tak Chun director Lei Chi Wai had been quoted by local media as saying on Sunday on the sidelines of an event.
He attributed the rapid growth to the improved economic prospects of the region.
“[The growth] is purely due to the improved economic condition, which included the performance of the Hong Kong stock market and the rewarming of the mainland Chinese economy. That’s why our business has improved a lot this year,” Mr Lei said.
The Tak Chun director also reportedly said that those VIP gaming clubs in Macau that had been relatively poorly operated had already been eliminated from the market in the past two years. The surviving operators had strength in depth, he suggested.
His comment echoed some remarks made by junket industry insiders to GGRAsia a week ago, suggesting that market consolidation in the Macau licensed junket sector had plateaued.
Mr Lei also forecast that, as global economic conditions and corporate performance continued to improve, high rollers will be more confident in coming to Macau to gamble in 2018.
He added that Tak Chun would continue to open VIP gaming clubs in Macau and will develop its operations in countries such as Vietnam and Philippines.
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"The Hong Kong protests may hurt Macau gross gaming revenue by about mid-single-digit (i.e., half of maximum visitation exposure), which should fade away gradually as people will find alternative ways to visit Macau”
DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd