Tue, Sep 03, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Macau’s gaming revenue continues to fall

STOCKS FALL:High-rollers from China have been affected by a sluggish economy at home, and protests in Hong Kong have disrupted visa applications for visitors to Macau

Bloomberg

Macau casino revenue last month dipped for a second consecutive month as the world’s biggest gaming hub faced headwinds from protests in Hong Kong and regulatory uncertainty over high-roller junkets.

Gross gaming revenue for Macau casino operators was 24.3 billion patacas (US$3 billion), down 8.6 percent from a year earlier, data from the Macau Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau showed.

That missed the median analyst estimate of a 4 percent fall, following a drop in July.

Casino stocks fell yesterday, with casino giant Wynn Macau sinking 2.42 percent, Sands China falling 2.11 percent and Galaxy Entertainment dropping 1.02 percent.

The latest numbers further illustrate the turbulence in the Macau gaming sector this year due to a myriad negative factors.

Of the first eight months of this year, gaming revenue expanded for four months and contracted for four months, failing to sustain momentum either way.

Macau casinos are not immune to the US-China trade dispute and a Chinese economy that has slowed to the weakest pace in three decades.

Well-heeled gamblers have been affected by the sluggish economy and more are staying away from baccarat tables, cutting short over two years of sustained gaming revenue growth at the beginning of the year.

High-rollers are also cautious after a series of moves to clamp down on telephone and online gaming in the past month by the Chinese government.

JPMorgan Chase & Co analysts estimate the VIP segment was down 26 to 28 percent last month, and said the mass sector’s estimated 7 percent gain was a “big disappointment.”

The ongoing protests in Hong Kong have disrupted transportation and visa applications for Chinese visitors to Hong Kong and Macau.

Weekend jaunts to Macau has also likely dropped due to people staying home as protests rage on the streets in Hong Kong.

JPMorgan cut its this year’s target for Macau gross gaming revenue growth to minus-3 percent from minus-1 percent, reflecting third-quarter trends and demand uncertainty.

Additional reporting by AFP

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