The operator of the Grand Lisboa casino hotel, Casino Babylon and 16 other casinos, had a market share of 23.4% in October.
Sands China Ltd, which held the lead in October with 23.7%, is second in November with a share of 22.55%, a 4% year-on-year revenue decline. But Sands Cotai Central, the company’s new $4 billion casino on Macau’s popular Cotai peninsula, continued to outgrow the market, according to Wells Fargo analyst Cameron McKnight.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. saw its share increase slightly to 21.51% this month.
MGM China, a unit of MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), had 11%, Wynn Macau Ltd had 8.85%, and Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment (NASDAQ:MPEL) had 13.50% in November, down from 14.3% in October.
The market-share shift comes as Macau’s overall gambling revenue continues to shrink, with November down 19.6% to MOP24.27 billion (US$3.04 billion), the sixth consecutive month of declines.
“We believe China policy settings are negatively affecting growth, specifically visa restrictions (on tourists from inland China to the Macau special administrative district), the anticorruption drive, a pullback in credit and and a soft housing market,” wrote Wells Fargo’s Cameron McKnight in a report Tuesday. “We remain on the sidelines as uncertainty remains high.”
Total mass-market (middle-class tourists) revenue fell 13% in November compared to a year ago and VIP revenue fell 24%.
Junket operators bring VIP gamblers to Macau by lending them money to get around local restrictions on how much cash can be brought into Macau. The Chinese government has cracked down on the lending practice as part of a broad “anticorruption” campaign, arresting several junket operators earlier this year on charges of money laundering.