New data published by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has highlighted the struggles currently faced by the city’s VIP segment with market share of VIP baccarat plummeting to just 34.6% in the three months to 31 December 2020.
VIP baccarat contributed revenue of MOP$7.63 billion (US$953.6 million) in 4Q20, a substantial 226% increase over the MOP$2.34 billion (US$292.5 million) between July and September as eased border restrictions with mainland China prompted growing visitor numbers.
However, the rate of improvement lagged well behind mass market revenue with mass baccarat recording a 532% increase over 3Q20 to MOP$11.85 billion (US$1.48 billion). Mass baccarat comprised 53.8% of all gaming revenue for the quarter.
Macau-wide, revenue from games of fortune grew four-fold in the final quarter of 2020 from MOP$5.08 billion (US$634.9 million) to MOP$22.02 billion (US$2.75 billion).
At just 34.6%, the VIP segment recorded its lowest share in Macau’s gaming market on record – down from 45.3% in 3Q20 and well below a decade ago when VIP baccarat accounted for 73% of the city’s gaming revenue.
The DICJ’s 4Q20 figures also reflect color provided by leading VIP promotor Suncity Group at a recent Goldman Sachs corporate day when it revealed that VIP volumes had only recovered to around 20% of pre-COVID-19 levels as of December.
Suncity has closed some of its Macau VIP rooms – including at The Parisian Macao – in response, although a company representative confirmed to IAG that the rooms would be reopened once volume returns.