The Macau government has expressed optimism that the best is yet to come for the former Portuguese enclave as it predicts higher casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) next year.
Macau Daily Times reported that Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong is predicting double-digit gaming revenue growth in 2018 as the economy improves in Asia’s premier gaming hub.
He also disclosed during a public event on Friday that this year’s gross gaming revenue is right on track in posting “positive double-digit growth” in 2017 over last year’s results.
“We believe [GGR] will continue to increase at a rate above one single digit and that [full-year 2017 GGR] will be better than last year’s,” Leong said, according to the news report.
Data from the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau indicates that the Chinese special administrative region reaped MOP220 billion (US$27.5 billion) casino GGR in the first 10 months of 2017, up 19.2 percent from the prior-year period.
Macau also reported a 22.1 percent casino GGR increase in October, its highest monthly tally since October 2014. Monthly gambling revenue came in at MOP 26.6 billion ($3.31 billion) to record 15 consecutive months of gains.
The territory had also benefited from economic expansion in China that broadly maintained its momentum in the third quarter, fueled by robust factory output and consumer spending.
For Leong, the data that surprised many financial analysts simply reflects Macau’s sound economic situation.
Under the current market trends, Leong remains optimistic that the government will be able to collect more gaming-related tax revenue next year as casino GGR rises. He, however, did not provide an estimate for GGR growth in 2018.