Macau

Galaxy Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands saw gains in their market share in the first nine days of February, while the other main concessionaires were either flat or slipped, according to a note from UBS. The firm emphasizes that hold-related issues can have a significant impact on market share in the short term, however Galaxy seems to have seen its market share rise to 22.3 percent compared with an estimated 2013 share of 18.6 percent. LVS gained to 25.3 percent from 21.7 percent, while SJM  Holdings dropped to 20.9 percent from 24.7 percent.

SJM Holdings and eGame Solutions have formed a joint venture to provide a national lottery in five different countries. SJM unit EML will own 75 percent of the venture and will invest $20 million in loans and equity for the first two projects. It has committed to invest a further $30 million in three others, depending on the performance of the initial companies. The companies didn’t say which countries they are targeting, though said the project is contingent on receiving licenses to operate.

Visitors to Macau spend 84 percent of the money they spend in the territory on gambling, according to a Statistics and Census Service survey. Macau gets about 35 percent of its gross domestic product from tourism. The survey looked at what tourists spent in 2010 on gambling, shopping, eating and drinking and hotels. It found that the value added by the tourism industry in 2010 was 51.8 billion (US$6.48 billion).

The Macau Jockey Club is planning to reopen its casino, local media reported Chief Executive Thomas Li Chu Kwan as saying. The property is now being redecorated and will be reopened as soon as government approval is received, he said. He gave no details on the number of planned gambling tables or slot machines.

Casino revenue in the first six days of February reached 8.03 billion patacas ($1.04 billion), with takings soaring from Tuesday after a slow start to the Lunar New Year holidays, according to media reports. That compares with 7.2 billion patacas the first seven days of the holiday period last year. Meanwhile, tourism numbers rose by 13 percent during the holidays 1.05 million visitors. Nomura Securities predicts Feb. GGR will be 20 percent to 25 percent higher this month than a year ago.

Goldman Sachs says it’s maintaining its estimates for gross gambling revenue growth in Jan-Feb to be in the low to mid-teens and says it’s keeping its full-year GGR forecast at 16 percent, after a recent visit. The firm says VIP growth is likely to be 12 percent and mass market 24 percent. The firm said it visited all Cotai project sites during the visit, with Galaxy Entertainment’s Macau Phase 2 project appearing to be ahead of the rest and on track for completion in mid-2015.

Sterne Agee has raised its 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates for Wynn Resorts, but warned that capacity restraints in Macau will hold the company back in the near term. The firm now sees 2014 EPS of $8.90 and $9.95 for 2015, compared with its previous view of $7.45 and $8.05 respectively. Sterne Agee also raised its price target on the shares by $10 to $225. The firm said it “cautions that Macau market sentiment shifts may cause more sporadic downside volatility than peers given a still lengthy pre-opening time span combined with a slower than CY14/CY15 market growth outlook.

Macau gross gambling revenue grew 7 percent to 28.7 billion patacas ($3.6 billion) in January, the slowest monthly gain since October 2012, according to data from  Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Analysts had been expecting growth of between 11-15 percent. Commentators said much of the decline could be attributed to the timing of the Chinese New Year, traditionally a quiet period for the gambling industry. Despite the slowdown, Goldman Sachs says it’s maintaining it’s estimate for 16 percent growth in GGR for 2014.

SJM Holdings Ltd is breaking ground on its Cotai property on Thursday 13 February. The operator plans to open its first Cotai casino-resort within three years, SJM Chief Executive Ambrose So Shu Fai announced. The company has said the casino-resort would have 2,000 hotel rooms and 700 gaming tables.

 

Galaxy Entertainment Group Chairman Lui Che-woo says he may invest HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion) in nearby Hengqin island and is also open to acquiring U.S. casinos. In an interview with Bloomberg News, he also said he plans to set up a charity to build schools in China. Lui said Galaxy intends to build sports-related facilities and hotels in Hengqin. He declined to discuss possible acquisition targets in the U.S.

 

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