Land-based casinos in Macau defied expectations and posted a stronger-than-expected growth rate in November 2017. The GIB (Gaming and Inspection Bureau) figures undershot the actual performance by a long margin. According to industry analysts, revenues reached $2.86 billion (23 billion patacas) in November 2017.
Macau has reported 7 months of 20% + revenue increases year on year in 2017. The strong gains in Gross Gambling Revenue (GGR) are attributed to high rollers and the VIP market which expanded by 30% in November. This indicates that casual players and mid-range gambling activity only grew in single digits.
For the current year, from January through November 30, revenues have increased by 19.5% over 2016 figures. Analysts are anticipating December 2017 growth to be a 23%, for a full year revenue figure of 20% +. This will be the first full year of growth in 3 years for Macau.
Macau Casinos Stage Robust Recovery
The revenues reported by the Gaming and Inspection Bureau (GIB) suggest that the land-based casino industry is growing at a healthy rate. Macau is a major money spinner for China, and GGR streams are slowly on the mend. According to Thomson Reuters Datastream, 2011 was the best year for Macau. For the full year ending December 31, 2017 industry analysts anticipate Macau gambling revenue will reach $33 billion – $34 billion.
Casinos on the Macau Cotai Strip have performed strongly, including Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Wynn Macau Limited, and Sands China Limited. Revenue was boosted by VIP players wagering around $151,000 per bet, however macroeconomic concerns could impact GGR figures.
Macau’s economy is also considering diversification measures by opening family-friendly entertainment options at its 6 licensed casinos. Increasingly strict regulation has generated uncertainty among operators, but that has not reflected in the strong growth for the year to date.