After a slow beginning to 2019, Macau has started seeing an improvement in its casino gross gaming revenue (GGR), the government reports. According to a report published by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), casino GGR increased by 1.8% over May 2018.
Many experts believe this is the start of a turnaround – something that Macau has needed as its gaming revenue has declined over the past few years.
This year, Macau’s performance has been poor, in general. January was the only month that saw a slight uptick. Over the first five months of 2019, Macau’s total GGR is $15.6 billion – a decrease of 1.6% when compared to the same time period in 2018.
Labor Day Weekend Brought In Punters
Labor Day weekend took place during May, and this – analysts say – allowed gamblers extra time to visit the casinos. Experts with JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd. DS Kim and Christopher Tang said that the figure: “below the sell-side consensus estimate of +3 percent” and stated that JP Morgan’s forecast had been +2-4 percent. But, the analysts indicated that “it shouldn’t really matter at this point as Macau stocks already corrected by approximately 20 percent during May.”
Nomura Instinet LLC and Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd also stated that the daily volume for the VIP market was better than it was last year – around 16-18% higher in comparison. They estimate the hold percentage to be between 3.1-3.2%.
Also notable was that this year’s Labor Day weekend took four days – last year, it lasted just three. This extra day allowed visitors to Macau additional time, and most visitors appear to take advantage of the extended weekend by staying an extra night.
Macau’s performance could continue to improve through June – and many analysts believe financial forecasts lead to just that. Morgan Stanley’s experts estimated a 6% year-on-year increase in revenue. JP Morgan’s analysts predict between a 1-2% increase.