Strong revenue growth in the week following Chinese New Year has been described by analysts as highly encouraging after Macau recorded its highest daily GGR average in nine months.
Macau’s gross gaming revenue in the seven days from 7 to 13 February reached an average of MOP$428 million (US$53 million) per day, according to analysts, representing a 29% improvement over CNY itself and the highest daily rate since the May 2021 holiday period.
The figures, coming off the back of a 52% increase in visitation over the previous seven days, is particularly impressive given the headwinds facing the VIP industry since the November arrest of Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau.
“It’s often been the case that tail-end demand (a week after Lunar New Year) was stronger than LNY demand itself – but recall, a big chunk of such tail-end came from high-end and VIP in the past,” said JP Morgan’s DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu.
“Thus, this strong tail-end – without junkets – is impressive and a very encouraging sign to suggest robust pent-up demand for mass gambling, in our view.”
The improvement comes despite Macau still requiring arrivals via the Gongbei Border Gate – by far the most popular entry point – to show a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within the previous 48 hours. Bernstein’s Vitaly Umansky said mass GGR was driven by strong visitation and premium play post-holiday, while VIP also improved despite the hold-rate dropping back to normal after outperforming during CNY.
Month to date, Macau’s GGR is estimated at MOP$5 billion (US$620 million) with an average daily rate of MOP$384 million (US$48 million) – down 58% on February 2019 but 47% higher year-on-year. Bernstein estimates that VIP GGR has doubled compared with January, albeit from a low base, while mass GGR is up 80% month-on-month.
February GGR is forecast to come in at around 45% higher than January 2022, which would represent a 64% decline on February 2019.