Gaming insights Gaming

Macau mass market stronger than reported

Written by Ben Blaschke

Macau’s mass market gaming revenue grew by a staggering 11 percent year-on-year in the three months to September 30 2016, an indication of just how strong the sector is becoming in Asia’s gaming hub.

Official figures released by the DICJ last month showed the mass market had grown by 3.9 percent during 3Q16, up MOP$1 billion to MOP$26.36 billion. However, Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen says the real figure is considerably higher given recent table re-classifications which have changed how GGR is reported.

“What we found was very encouraging and backs up various management commentary of notable mass market strength and our view that we’re seeing an inflection point,” Govertsen said.

“Importantly, we find that mass market GGR actually grew 11 percent year-on-year in 3Q16 (+ percent sequentially), which does include some benefit from new supply. This was 600bps better than the DICJ data.”

Govertsen said that while mass remained the most promising sector, premium mass was starting to show encouraging signs as well.

“This makes sense in that premium mass customers, for the same reason as VIP customers, shied away from Macau in the context of the anti-corruption drive. Two-plus years on, we think some number of them are feeling more comfortable about their situation and are returning to the market,” he observed.

“In terms of data, we would point to Sands China, which noted premium mass GGR grew 16 percent in 3Q16, the first year-on-year growth since 3Q14. At the same time, the delta between the DICJ and operator-reported mass data widened this quarter, which could also be suggestive of an improving premium mass. “