Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) pulled off yet another surprise in May, growing 23.7 percent year-on-year.
Data from the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed that Macau’s casino GGR jumped to MOP22.74 billion (US$2.83 billion) last month, beating analyst expectations of 16.5 percent growth.
Macau market’s GGR tally for the first five months of 2017 stood at MOP106.38 billion (US$13.25 billion), up 15.8 percent from the prior-year period.
Grant Govertsen of Union Gaming described the latest data as “encouraging,” noting that the suprising GGR is yet more proof that the former Portuguese enclave’s recovery is now in full-tilt.
He further pointed out that analysts were expecting that the early May visit to Macau of Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress, would dent last month’s GGR.
“We are very encouraged by the May results, which we had expected to be suppressed by the Zhang visit, as well as the slightly unfavorable calendar,” Govertsen said in a note on Thursday. “That Macau exceeded consensus again and turned in a GGR story just shy of February (Chinese New Year), suggests the recovery is in full-tilt.”
Govertsen said Macau’s mass-market story remains promising. Official data from Macau’s Public Security Police show the city welcomed 404,073 visitors between May 27 and May 30, an increase of 9.12 percent compared to the same holiday period last year.
“Generally speaking, growth in the mass market segment is generally being enjoyed by most of the Macau Big Six. At the same time, the market-wide VIP growth rate is accelerating, driven by a confluence of factors not the least of which is coming up against the easiest comps of the year as 2Q16 represented the low water mark of the GGR downturn,” he said.
The VIP trends in the first quarter seemed to have been maintained in the second quarter, according to the investment analyst. He pointed out that Wynn’s peninsula and Cotai properties continue to outperform the VIP market by a very wide margin.
“We do expect generally better VIP results out of virtually all of the rest of the Big Six in 2Q17 (as compared to y/y growth rates delivered during 1Q17).”