Mass growth outstrips VIP in Q2, takes market lead

Gross gambling revenue in Macau’s mass market sector far outstripped the long-dominant VIP segment in Q2, helped in part by a reclassification of tables following the full smoking ban that came into effect in January.

Mass GGR, inclusive of slots, jumped 18.6 percent year-on-year and was flat quarter-on-quarter, hitting a total of MOP38.7 billion ($4.8 billion), according to figures from the Gambling Inspection and Coordination Bureau. 

VIP GGR on the other hand dropped 15.6 percent year-on-year to MOP34.6 billion. It was down 7 percent quarter-on-quarter, the figures showed. 

In total, GGR for Q2 was MOP73.5 billion, taking the total for the first half to MOP149.9 billion.

Trade tensions and the slowing Chinese economy, where growth dropped to a 27-year low in the quarter, has also taken its toll on the VIP sector.

The government has been pushing Macau’s operators for years to reduce their reliance on China’s high-rollers to create a more family friendly, mass market destination. In the quarter, the percentage share of mass market to the whole gained to 52.6 percent. The VIP share of the market stood at about 47 percent. That’s down from a peak in 2013 when VIPs generated MOP238 billion in revenue, or about three quarters of the total that year.

Slot machine revenue hit MOP3.72 billion, down slightly from MOP3.8 billion the same period last year.