Macau casino gaming revenue in the month of June could fall to its lowest level since 2010, according to a top government official.
On Thursday, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said June’s casino gaming revenue total could fall as low as MOP 16b (US $2b), more than MOP 4b lower than May’s total. Leong told reporters that the past four or five years had seen an average 20% drop in gaming revenue between May and June and there was no reason to suggest a similar pattern wouldn’t occur this year.
In April, Macau’s government warned that it could run a fiscal deficit if monthly gaming revenue dipped below MOP 18b. On Thursday, Leong said a MOP 15.7b total this month would bring the year-to-date monthly average down to MOP 20b. While the government is preparing “retrenchment measures” to handle the shortfall, Leong insisted that cuts to social and medical services, public sector salaries and public construction projects weren’t in the offing.
Leong’s warnings are all the more disappointing considering the late-May opening of Galaxy Macau’s Phase 2, the first new mega-resort to open in Macau in three years. This week, Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) reported that business at the new venue had been “satisfactory, but not as good as we expected.”
GEG vice-chairman Francis Lui pleaded for patience, insisting that Phase 2’s performance will be “better in the next one to two months.” Whether or not the property has lived up to original (perhaps unrealistic) expectations, it has allowed GEG to boost its market share for the first two weeks of June to 25%, up from 19% in the month of May. That puts it above May’s market leader Sands China, which slipped to 22%, according to Barclays analysts.