Macau’s rapid growth in casino revenue this year has had little to stand in its way. Then again, you can always count on Mother Nature to accomplish what nobody else seems to be able to do.
Severe typhoon Usagi’s visit to Macau may have been fleeting, but the effects it will have on September’s revenue numbers in the gambling destination could lead to a slowdown in year-to-year growth for the month. Of course, the slowdown ought to be taken in a loose sense considering that the city’s casinos are still expected to have growth somewhere in the teens.
That’s the estimate Union Gaming Research Macau is looking at after taking into consideration the damages brought by Usagi’s quick but still powerful visit to Macau.
“While difficult to quantify, we think Typhoon Usagi could negatively impact September’s year-on-year growth rate by a few to several hundred basis points relative to current projections,” analyst Grant Govertsen told Macau Business Daily.
“Despite this, trends remain exceptionally strong in Macau across all relevant segments and we are looking for record levels of [gross gaming revenue] next month driven by the upcoming October Golden Week holiday period. Further, and despite Typhoon Usagi, we fully expect September GGR year-on-year growth well into the teens.”
Expectations for a slowdown in the second half of the year isn’t exactly a new idea. In fact, the Monetary Authority of Macau called it back in July when it said that there would a slowdown in gaming receipts in Macau caused by high-stakes gamblers scaling down their visits to Macau. But nobody probably expected Mother Nature to play an equally important role in causing this momentary sputtering of revenues for the world’s richest gambling hub.
The strength of Usagi was felt by a lot of people and companies even outside the gambling industry. Hundreds of flights were cancelled both in Macau and Hong Kong. Thousands of people were evacuated in the Fujian province and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange cancelled premarket trading as the city slowly stands from the pummeling the severe typhoon inflicted on the Chinese territories.