Universal Entertainment Corp. has to be thrilled with how Okada Manila has been performing this year. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the Philippines-based casino was up by 29.6% last month compared to September of last year, reaching $61.3 million. This latest improvement follows a string of boosts this year, with the gambling venue being able to record a 46.2% year-on-year GGR increase January through September. While it earned $371.45 million in 2018, it has seen $542.57 million in 2019.
Part of the reason for the increase in GGR comes from more people making their way to the casino. Across the first nine months of this year, Okada Manila saw 25.7% more patrons – 4.33 million – than what it saw during the same period last year. September’s money was boosted by a 22.9% increase in traffic as it reached 494,000 compared to 402,000 in September 2018.
As more people rolled in, so did the VIP rolling chip volume. It increased 33.5% year-on-year to just under $7.823 billion from January to September, whereas last year, it was $5.861 billion. In September, VIP GGR on table games jumped 19.7% to $28.75 million. While the gain was impressive – Okada Manila only recorded $24.08 million in September 2018 – it wasn’t as impressive as mass-market table game GGR. That increase 48.9% to $14.89 million followed by a 32.8% gain for gaming machines as it reached $17.6 million.
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) came in at $10.75 million in September, much higher than the $3.14 million seen in the same month last year. Across the first nine months of the year, that figure was $87.39 million, a little more than six times more than the $14.83 million seen in the same period in 2018.
The performance was better than Union Gaming (UG) had expected. According to UG analyst John DeCree, September’s results were “slightly above” the company’s estimates, which resulted in UG revising its forecast for the third quarter. DeCree adds, “We are slightly increasing our 3Q19 earnings estimates based on the strong 3Q19 results at Okada Manila. Our Consolidated Net Revenue estimate for the company goes to [$331,119, up from $330,232] and our Adjusted EBITDA estimate after corporate expense goes to [$51,391 from $47,743]. Our 2019 EBITDA estimate increases slightly to $171,607 compared to $168,116]. Our 2020 and 2021 estimates are mostly unchanged.”