Macau gaming revenue rose by 33% for the month of November as the enclave showed its immunity to global economic concerns. Gaming revenue rose to $2.9billion but represented the lowest rise in revenue for a number of months. A rise of 33% is still extremely impressive and shows the gambling industry’s largest market is far from straining. Much of this is down to the steady influx of VIP customers that make up 70% of the total revenue figure. To this end, Melco Crown CFO Geoffrey Davis told reporters: “We are not seeing any changes in patterns in terms of velocity of money. Things have been pretty consistent for the last 12-18 months.”
Then there were the stocks.
Markets in Asia were been dragged from the doldrums with news that central banks are to increase lending. The European Central Bank, US Federal Reserve and central banks in the UK, Canada, Japan and Switzerland are set to take the action from December 5 with China freeing up money for it’s banks to lend. It meant that yesterday New York’s Dow Jones gained 4.2% and all of Europe’s markets rose by at least 3%.
As for the gaming industry stocks themselves, Macau’s grouping of casino business companies had their best day in a while on Hong Kong’s trading floor. The most impressive of them was the Galaxy Entertainment Group where their price shot up 11.28% to HK$15.98 and Sands China who saw stock up by 7.82%. The same could be said for SJM Holdings (7.52%), MGM China (5.90%) and Wynn Macau (3.71%) as all three reflected an upbeat trend in the Asian stock market as a whole. Not that the gaming industry in Macau needed it, but the influx of central money had an impact on the stocks and makes the market even stronger than it already was.
There are also rumors the enclave will host the world’s richest tournament from 2013. The Macau Pro Am Open would have a prize pool of anything between $65m and $100m with the eventual winner expected to walk away with $25m. According to US businessman William Murray the event will be sponsored by five Chinese companies and he added: “The current goal is to have 500 participants with one-third coming from the Far East, one-third from the U.S., and one-third from other countries. The subscription for the seats in the Far East has already been taken.”
Registration for the event has a “tentative cutoff date” of December 15 2011 and the buy-in is expected to be $200,000. Macau doesn’t do half measures.