VIP baccarat on top in Macau; Analyst issues revenue update; APT signs new deal with Resorts World Manila


MacauVIP baccarat revenue dominated Macau’s casino market in 2011 as it outgrew the gaming industry in the enclave. Revenues were up 44.6% to MOP196.1billion (USD24.5bn) compared with the year before as the sector accounted for 73% of the enclave’s total casino business for the year. The figures, released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, showed mass market baccarat was second on this list as generating revenue of MOP48.7bn, thus up 39.4% on the previous year.

The enclave’s slot machines ended the year as the highest grossing casino games with MOP11.4bn in revenues, an increase of 32.6% on the previous year. Preceding this were slots, which accounted for 4.3% of gaming revenue for the year.

An investor’s note has suggested the first week of trading in Macau has been slower than expected. HSBC Global Research analyst Sean Monaghan said: “January 2012 started slowly with the first eight days suggesting the market gross gaming revenue was up 15 percent year-on-year.”

He added: “This looks low versus our expectations of 30 percent [growth] for January and could reflect a lull before the start of the all-important Chinese New Year, which starts late January versus February in 2011.”

It’s still early days yet as the analyst rightly points out, Chinese New Year will provide a welcome boost to the area as a whole.

Resorts World Manila has signed a new deal with the Asian Poker Tour (APT) to see the tournament use the venue for  four more years. Starting with the APT Philippines from April 15-25, 2012, the APT is obliged to hold at least two events per year at the casino including both the APT series and lesser APT Asian Series. VP of Casino Operations at RWM, Hakan Dagtas, commented: “Both parties were very happy with each other from the previous years and there was no reason not to continue and develop the market. Over the past three events, we understood what we wanted, what to expect and whether the other party could deliver up to expectations.”

The partnership has been in place since 2010 and both sides will hope to better the record-setting 396 entrants in last year’s APT Asian Series Manila Main Event.