Mass table market results in the Macau SAR are currently at 100 percent or even more of 2019 levels, with slot machine results at about “70 to 80 percent”, a gaming executive told AGB.
Under the new gaming concessions granted since January 1st, 2024, the number of tables and slots in Macau was reduced to 6,000 and 12,000, a 13 and 6 percent reduction from the last count before the changes, respectively.
MGM was the only one of the six concessionaires to receive an increase in table allocation, with the other five concessionaires, SJM, Melco, Wynn, GEG and Sands, losing 743, 196, 100, 79 and five tables, respectively.
In comments to AGB after a seminar organized by the Macao Association of Young Employees in the Gaming Industry, Raymond Lo, the Senior Vice President, General Manager of Altira Macau & Mocha Clubs at Melco Resorts & Entertainment, indicated that the reduction had an impact in mass market results, but underlined the main trend of the industry at the moment is the shift from VIP to mass.
The talk, named ‘New Era, New Situation’ brought several gaming executives and researchers to the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf Convention Center to discuss the current gaming industry environment in the SAR.
“The focus right now is mass, and the VIP market, of course, is much lower than what it was. We believe that some of the guests, which used to be in the VIP or junket areas, will flow to the mass area and also contribute to the premium mass business as well. That explains why the VIP business has shrunk considerably”, Lo told AGB.
Mass-market gaming revenue, including slot machines, reached MOP37.04 billion ($4.5 billion), in the third quarter of this year, accounting for almost 76 percent of Macau’s total GGR, data published by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) show.
During the same period, VIP baccarat – the main VIP game – declined by 3.2 percent sequentially, amounting to almost MOP11.77 billion ($1.4 billion).
In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, VIP baccarat revenue reached MOP135 billion ($16.7 billion), about 46 per cent of the full-year gross gaming revenue earned by local casinos.
When asked about Melco’s positioning, considering its previous considerable focus on the VIP market, Lo underlined the gaming operator’s flagship property City of Dreams is mainly targeting the premium mass sector, whereas Studio City has focused on expanding its offerings for mass visitors.
Studio City underwent a series of upgrades in recent years, with Melco disbursing a $1.2 billion investment in the property’s Phase 2 expansion.
The first part of Phase 2 of Studio City included a new indoor water park and hotel tower and the 338-suite Epic Tower, both of which opened in April of this year. Apart from the W Macau opening, Phase 2 also includes a six-screen Cineplex, comprising two regular theaters and four VIP suites, as well as a state-of-the-art MICE space.