Newly-opened casino resorts have kept Macau’s gambling revenue afloat in the positive territory for the fourth consecutive month, posting a 14.4 rise in November.
Macau’s gross gambling revenue in November picked up at MOP18.79 billion (US$2.35) billion, according to the latest data released on Thursday by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The figures were at the top end of analyst expectations for a 10-15 percent rise.
But November’s data was a drop from the previous month, when revenue had been boosted by a national holiday week.
Macau’s accumulated casino GGR for the 11 months to November 30 stood at nearly MOP203.40 billion, a year-on-year decline of 4.3 percent from the equivalent period in 2015.
Fueling the uptick in Macau’s GGR in November was the influx of mass gamblers and visitors to the former Portuguese enclave after the multi-billion dollar casino openings by Sands China Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd in the third quarter.
In contrast, Macau’s VIP clients – seen as high rollers – continues to disappoint as they avoid the world’s biggest casino hub due to Beijing’s crackdown against graft and shows of wealth by public officials.
Despite these positive developments, some analysts are cautious in declaring a bottom to Macau’s gaming revenue and the sustainability and pace of the recovery for operators Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Crown and SJM Holdings.
Sophie Lin, a credit analyst at S&P global ratings, predicts that the GGR for Macau casinos will have 3-6 percent drop this year while figures for next year will be flat to up to 10 percent.
“The opening and ramping up of new casinos, better infrastructure connecting Macau with mainland China, and stabilizing regulations are the major factors that will fuel a rebound in the gaming industry,” Lin added.
Macau economy snaps a two-year economic contraction, thanks to the resurgence of gaming revenue in China’s special administrative region.
Data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service showed that Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the July to September 2016 period accelerated by four percent, the first positive quarterly growth recorded over the past two years. The last time Macau chalked a positive GDP was in the second quarter of 2014 when the when the city’s economy expanded by 5.7 percent.