Strong visitation fails to boost GGR

Strong visitation during the Chinese New Year holidays does not have appeared to have given a significant boost to gross gambling revenue, according to Bernstein Research, citing channel checks.

It said its checks indicate that GGR was MOP8.4 billion ($1 billion) from Feb. 1 to Feb. 10, giving an average daily rate of MOP840 million , that’s up 4 percent from January, but down three percent from the same period last year.

Mass GGR is estimated to be up modestly by a low-single digit percentage, whereas VIP volume is up high-single digits.

Total visitor arrivals however were up 26.6 percent, with mainland Chinese arrivals up 25.6 percent, exceeding government forecasts for 8 to 9 percent growth during the period.

“While visitation was robust during holiday period, many high rollers have stayed away from Macau (as is frequently the case). We are likely to see some strengthening in high end play during the second half of this month,” Bernstein said.

For February 2019, we estimate GGR growth of +2 percent to +5 percent year on year.

We currently estimate the Jan/Feb 2019 period could be down low single digits.

GGR in Q1 will also likely be impacted by the continued enforcement of the smoking ban, it said.