Euro 2016 betting stealing Macau casino thunder; Macau Slot monopoly renewed

macau-casino-euro-2016-bettingMacau casino gaming revenue could hit a five-year low in June thanks to gamblers choosing to wager on the Euro 2016 football tournament.

In a note issued on Monday, Nomura analysts reported that Macau’s June gaming revenue numbers were already off to a slower start than expected, down between 7% and 11% year-on-year. But this decline has accelerated since Euro 2016 kicked off on June 10.

According to Nomura, the week following the tournament’s start saw average daily gaming revenue fall 22% from the previous week. In addition to gamblers choosing football over baccarat, the high-rollers that are showing up in Macau are winning more, pushing VIP win down 0.15 points to 2.7%.

The phenomenon of football taking a bite out of Macau’s performance is well documented. Macau’s current two-year stretch of monthly revenue declines got its start in June 2014, the month the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off.

If present trends continue, Nomura suggested this month’s final revenue figure could slip below MOP 16b (US $2b), a low the special administrative region hasn’t hit since September 2010. Beautiful game, my ass.

Speaking of sports betting, Macau’s licensed wagering monopoly reported a double-digit profit rise last year despite falling revenue. On Tuesday, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) reported that Macau Slot (aka Sociedade de Lotarias e Apostas Mútuas de Macau) earned an annual profit of MOP 138.5m ($17.3m).

The profit rise came despite revenue falling 8.6% to MOP 673m, reflecting a tough comparison with a World Cup year. Football wagers were down nearly 16% to MOP 503m while basketball improved by 23% to MOP 170m.

The DICJ also reported that Macau Slot’s concession has been renewed until 2021, a much longer stamp of approval than the one-year extension the company received last year. The news will dash the hopes that some international firms had of horning in on Macau Slot’s turf and possibly launching Vegas-style sports betting lounges inside Macau’s casinos.