The mass market provided Macau casinos with ample financial fuel in the second quarter of 2018 as the VIP gambling growth rate slowed.
Data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) on Monday showed that Macau VIP GGR grew at a pace of 14.4 percent to MOP41.04 billion (US$5.13 billion) in Q2, almost near the 12.7 percent VIP GGR posted in last quarter of 2016.
VIP baccarat revenue accounted for an estimated 55.7 percent of all casino GGR in Q2 2018, growing 17.7 percent to MOP83.99 billion ($10.4 billion) in the first six months of 2018.
However, VIP baccarat revenue in the April to June 2018 period was 4.47 percent lower than the MOP42.96 billion ($5.32 billion) revenue it registered in the first quarter of 2018.
On the other hand, DICJ noted that the mass-market gambling, including play from slot machines, raked in MOP32.67 billion ($4.04 billion) in Q2. Slot machines led the mass market growth, registering 23.6 percent growth to MOP3.81 billion ($471 million) in the second quarter of 2018.
Revenue from live multi game products—those featuring table-style games with live dealers but electronic betting and electronic bet settlement—rose 7.7 percent to MOP661 million ($81.83 million) in Q2 from MOP614 million ($76.01 million) in Q1 2017.
In total, Macau’s casino GGR expanded by 17.2 percent to MOP73.71 billion ($9.12 billion) in Q2 2018 from MOP61.03 billion ($7.55 billion) in the same period last year. Gaming revenue for H1 2018 stood at MOP150.22 billion ($18.6 billion), compared to MOP126.38 billion ($15.64 billion) in the prior year period.
For international brokerage Union Gaming, the mass market-led growth of Macau casinos was great news for operators since it’s less sensitive to political winds and provided a strong backbone for Macau casinos’ recovery. Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen forecast Macau’s gaming market would remain robust, registering double-digit growth in July.
“That mass outpaced VIP is also an upside surprise relative to most expectations and, trade war fears notwithstanding, is reason to remain bullish on the Macau names,” Govertsen said in an industry update dated July 16.