Macau May GGR Rose Lower-Than-Expected 12.1 Percent

Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) rose 12.1 percent in May, below analysts’ forecasts, with June expected to record a further slowdown as players are distracted by the FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.

According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, revenue came in at 25.5 billion pataca (US$3.2 billion) for the month. The regulator doesn’t provide a breakdown between VIP and mass revenue in its monthly reports. The consensus forecast from analysts was for growth of about 17 percent.

Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said May was a particularly difficult month when it comes to the year ago comparison, when GGR rose 24 percent. The month started strongly with the May 1st holiday, but growth slowed mid-month, before staging a strong finish.

Govertsen said, based on conversations with junkets, May was another good month in the VIP sector with growth in the mid to high teens, implying any weakness was likely to have come from the mass market sector.

For 2018Q2, Union Gaming has trimmed its forecasts for GGR to grow 18 percent down from 20 percent, implying June growth of 15 percent.

“We are maintaining our full-year forecast of +17 percent, which can be achieved via average monthly GGR of 26.1 billion pataca (+2.3 percent relative to the year to date average of 25.5 billion),” the firm said.

Bernstein Research said it expects June GGR to gain about 14 percent to 16 percent year-on-year.

“The World Cup (June 14-July 15) may create some headwind for GGR this year. During the last two World Cups, June saw 20 percent and 16 percent month-on-month decline in 2010 and 2014, respectively,” the firm said. (AGB)