Good Morning. The hold ratio is one of the standard metrics for measuring how much a casino is earning from the games on its floor. However, what is it really telling us about operations and can it be actively managed to improve performance? Ben Lee, managing partner at IGamiX Management & Consulting runs through some of the technical details, especially as they pertain to Macau, and warns the hold ratio may not be a true indicator of underlying performance. 

What you need to know

  • Galaxy Entertainment returned to profit in 2021 and announced a special dividend of HK$0.3 a share, which it says is a testament to its confidence in the future of the Macau market. 
  • Ainsworth Game Technology said it returned to profit in the first half of its fiscal year, helped by its historical horse racing product.
  • Las Vegas Sands on Wednesday announced it has completed the $6.25 billion sale of The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas to Apollo Global Management and VICI Properties Inc.
Your Daily Asia Gaming eBrief: How important is the hold rate?

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Gambling with the hold rate

The hold rate may be a key casino metric, but there is a question mark over how valuable it really is in assessing underlying performance and whether it can be improved by active management, according to Ben Lee, founding partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting. Lee says the hold percentage, or the ratio between the amount won by the casino and the cash buy in at the tables, is a useful benchmark measure to help an operator obtain cross-property comparisons between its own resorts and those of its competitors. “If your hold is consistently below your competitors and you know your mix of games is the same, obviously you have a problem,” he says. “You either have an efficiency problem, in that your hand rates or billing rates are too low, or you’re losing money.” 

Your Daily Asia Gaming eBrief: How important is the hold rate?

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