Mon, Oct 02, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Macau gaming receipts rise to US$2.7bn

RISING TIDE:The territory is benefiting from economic growth in China outpacing the 6.5 percent official target, while this month’s party congress has had limited influence

Bloomberg

Macau’s casino revenue grew for the 14th consecutive month as high rollers lingered around the gambling tables in the world’s largest hub for players, following disruptions caused by typhoons in August.

Gross gaming receipts rose 16.1 percent to 21.4 billion patacas (US$2.7 billion) last month, according to data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau yesterday.

That compares with the median estimate for a 14 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of nine analysts. Gaming revenue climbed 20.4 percent in August from a year earlier.

Smaller junket operators, who select gamblers and provide credit to their big gamblers, have opened more gambling rooms in a move that is expected to drive growth in high-stakes players, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Praveen Choudhary said in a report.

The momentum is expected to continue as Golden Week, which started yesterday, has the potential to generate more revenue than last year.

Suncity Group (太陽城集團), the largest junket operator in Macau, expects its betting volume for this month to surge 30 to 35 percent from last year.

The number of tourists this week is expected to increase by as much as 5 percent from about 1.2 million visitors last year, the Macau Tourism Office said.

The bulk of those, about 970,000, were from China.

The number of mainland Chinese visitors to Macau surpassed 2 million in both July and August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The territory is benefiting from economic expansion in China that is outpacing the official 6.5 percent target, pent-up demand after the typhoons in August and the Chinese government’s decision not to restrict visas before the upcoming Chinese Communist Party leadership gathering in Beijing.

High-rollers from China have helped revive and sustain growth in Macau after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) campaign against corruption caused a two-year slump beginning in 2014, before bottoming out last year.

The typhoons disrupted operations in some casinos in the only Chinese territory where gambling is legal. MGM China Holdings Ltd (美高梅中國控股) is delaying the opening of its MGM Cotai to January next year because of damage, it said on Friday.

Macau’s government this week is to release a 15-year plan to boost tourism, with key objectives including rebranding Macau into a multi-day destination and managing local tourism capacity.

Typically, during national holidays, Macau’s tiny peninsula and adjoining islands are inundated with swarms of visitors, putting pressure on creaking infrastructure and transport.

Casino executives have said that hotels are fully booked for the official holiday period, which runs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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