Growth in Macau’s mass market outpaced the VIP sector by a factor of three in the second quarter of 2013, according to figures released by the Asian gambling enclave’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Mass market baccarat revenue increased 33.2% to MOP 20.72b (US $2.59b) in the three months ending June 30, while the VIP sector increased by 11.2%. The VIP business accounted for MOP 58.03b ($7.26b), good for 67.3% of Macau’s Q2 total, but that’s well off its 74% peak in Q2 2011. When the full year’s numbers are in the books, Union Gaming Research projected the mass/VIP mix will even out around 35/65.
Macau’s overall revenue figure of MOP 86.163b ($10.78b) represents a 15.8% boost over the same period last year and a new quarterly record (so much for all that slowdown talk). The mass market boost also reflects the upward pressure on the minimum bets at mass tables. Minimum wagers at mass tables have risen five-fold over the past six years, and Deutsche Bank issued a report last month saying minimum mass wagers were up 37% over the past 12 months, hitting HKD 1,622 ($209) in June 2013.
Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Tang suggested there were now four categories of mass market gaming in Macau: ‘premium’ mass (minimum wagers of HKD 2k and above), ‘high-limit’ (HKD 1k-15k), ‘middle’ (HKD 300-800) and ‘grind’ (HKD 200 and below). Sands China’s Sands Cotai Central has reportedly been the most active in expanding its ‘premium’ mass tables, rising from 12% of its total mass tables in June 2012 to 32% last month.
It’s not surprising then, that Sands China’s mass market revenue of $863m earned it top spot among Macau’s six concessionaires, easily beating out runner-up SJM Holdings’ $802m. Sands’ mass tally represents a 63% improvement over the previous year, while SJM was up a mere 5%. Sands’ Venetian Macao added more Fast Action Baccarat tables last month, after the 28-betting-station tables made their debut in December. Macau authorities say the ‘live multi-game’ segment accounted for MOP 302m ($37.8m) in Q2, up 92% from last year.