Macau’s performance in the first half of the year had some people wondering just how much better gross gaming revenues would hit once the second half of the year started. Optimism is a tricky thing, though, and it only takes one splash of skepticism to douse it away.
The Macao Monetary Research Bulletin probably didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news, or at the very least, the bearer of tempered expectations. But that’s exactly what it did yesterday when it cautioned anyone thinking that Macau was impervious to a slowdown by saying that the second half of the year won’t be as rosy as the first six months.
The central bank bulletin issued the warning, pointing to the slowdown of high rollers as the biggest reason for the expected downturn. It’s no secret that the VIP market is the crutch of
Macau’s gross gaming revenues, accounting for two-thirds of the whole pie. And even with its high 68 percent mark in the first quarter of the year, that figure is still down from the 74 percent of the overall gross gaming revenue pie the high roller market accounted for in the second quarter of 2011.
The unexpected rise of mass-market gaming has bitten off a chunk of that VIP presence. As our own Steven Stradbrooke pointed out, the second quarter of 2013 saw Macau’s mass market outpace the high roller market “by a factor of three”, accounting for MOP20.72 billion or 33.2 percent of Macau’s total 2Q 2013 figures. By year’s end, the Union Gaming Research projects the percentages to be around 65/35 in favor of the VIP market. It still favors the high rollers significantly, but not in the levels it once was, something the Macao Monetary Research Bulletin believes will slow the growth in overall gaming services.
All of this, of course, is still a matter of conjecture and speculation. After all, the recent upsurge in mass market gaming in Macau hasn’t hampered gross gaming revenue in the past few months. The numbers from May and June, in particular, represent the second and third highest earning months in the gambling destination, bested only by the MOP31.1 billion it earned in March of this year.