Macau’s mass market casino gross game revenue (GGR) during the recent Chinese Spring Festival (CNY) holiday was able to recover at least 60% of the 2019 break when the festival was in early February, according to a note from brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) on Monday.
The agency said the pace of mass market GGR recovery was likely to have significantly outpaced the recovery in visitor numbers, which was 451,000 during the seven-day Chinese New Year holiday, by about 37% of its 2019 holiday tally.
Analyst DS Kim said, “We admit that it is difficult to estimate weekly sales, but our sense is that Lunar New Year’s bulk game sales may have recovered to 60-70% of the 2019 Lunar New Year’s sales. That would be almost twice as much as the visit figures suggest and twice as much as we have in our model,” it said.
According to data from the Macau Game Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the February 2019 GGR was $25.37 billion ($3.14 billion) overall, when the junket-based VIP business was still an important part of the Macau market. In the first quarter of 2019, VIP Baccarat, generated mostly from junket adjustment plays, accounted for 48.9% of the market.
“The 2019 Lunar New Year generated one of the best bulk gaming revenues in Macau’s history, so a 60% to 70% recovery is very certain compared to this figure and will be much higher than Street [investment sector] expected,” Kim said in a note on Monday 경마사이트
“All [Macao] operators we met were positively surprised by the level of demand during the Lunar New Year in all sectors, including in-house VIPs,” Kim said in a recent note
The JPMorgan analyst suggested that the number of visitors “is not a suitable figure to look at if you want to anticipate game revenue.” This was due to factors including an increase in the economic “quality” of visitors, as package travel transactions have not yet increased.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Macau casino operator Sands China Limited, last week marked “contained demand” in the Macau market during the Chinese New Year holiday. Rob Goldstein, the group’s chairman and chief executive, said the company is in a “very positive territory” in its Macau business and sees “strong” momentum following eased travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.