Macau casino gaming revenue falls for 17th straight month

macau-17th-month-casino-revenue-declineMacau casino gaming revenue declined for the 17th straight month in October, despite a modest boost from the annual Golden Week holiday period.

Macau’s Gaming and Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) said gaming revenue fell 28.4% year-on-year to MOP 20.1b (US $2.5b) in October. For the year-to-date, Macau casinos are down 35.5% to MOP 176b.

October’s revenue total was MOP 3b more than September’s tally and the rate of decline slowed from 33% in September. In fact, October’s rate of decline was the second lowest this year, beaten only by January’s 17.4% decline.

That said, October is traditionally a stronger month given the Golden Week holiday, during which hordes of mainland Chinese make the trek to the world’s top gambling hub. While the number of mainland visitors was up 7.1% this year, the rate of growth was down significantly from the 17.1% recorded during Golden Week 2014. This year’s holiday week gaming revenue mirrored the month’s overall decline, falling 28% year-on-year.

November’s revenue figure will be the first proper indication of the impact of Melco Crown Entertainment’s flashy new movie-themed resort Studio City, which opened last week. Studio City is the second new mega-resort to open in Macau this year, following the May opening of Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Galaxy Macau Phase 2, the arrival of which failed to provide much of a boost to the overall Macau market.

Macau’s prolonged slump has been driven by a number of factors, including the slowing growth of the overall Chinese economy and the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption, which has prompted China’s high-rollers to adopt a low profile in the hopes of staying under Beijing’s radar. Chinese officials recently suggested the government would take steps to revive Macau’s sagging fortunes, but what form these steps might take remain a mystery.