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MICE to be the main driver of Macau’s GGR in 4Q23: Citigroup

The ‘unprecedented lineup of events’ is expected to be the main driver of Macau’s gross gaming revenue in 4Q23, as Citigroup raises the quarter’s GGR forecast by 7.4 percent quarterly, from MOP51 billion ($6.3 billion) to MOP52.5 billion ($6.5 billion).

The latest investment memo from Citigroup mentions that the National Day Golden Week alone is set to feature eight events, ranging from Cantopop concerts featuring fan favorites MC Cheung Tin Fu, Terence Lam, and Kelly Chen to a poolside dance party featuring former NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal (also known as DJ Diesel).

The star-studded events lined up for 4Q23 contribute to a more optimistic atmosphere. At the same time, Analyst George Choi expects ‘the normal “post Golden Week hangover” to be much less severe, as Eason Chan, a leading male singer of his generation in Greater China, will perform nine shows over the three weekends after the National Day Golden Week.

Eason Chan is believed to have the same caliber as Jacky Cheung, the Cantopop legend who made record-breaking concerts in June and attracted over 109,000 fans.

In this context, October GGR is expected to be the highest this year at MOP19 billion ($2.35 billion). Citigroup forecasts GGR to average MOP 765 million daily during the holiday. ‘This effectively implies that Mass and VIP GGR would respectively be 100 percent and 15 percent lower than the National Day Golden Week in 2019.’

The research team anticipates GGR to average MOP575 million per day. ‘If it materializes, it would imply a moderation in the GGR run-rate by less than 25 percent versus the Golden Week, reflecting a less severe post Golden Week hangover” due to the scheduled concerts and shows.

In 2019, the average daily GGR for October after the National Day Golden Week was MOP764 million ($94.6 million), 34 percent lower than that of the Golden Week, which was at MOP1,157 million ($143.2 million) of GGR per day.

September GGR can be used as a benchmark for the near-term floor for monthly GGR. Thus, Citigroup consequently raised the November GGR forecast from MOP 15 billion ($1.86 billion) to MOP 16 billion ($1.98 billion), and December from MOP17 billion ($2.1 billion) to MOP17.5 billion ($2.2 billion).

In this context, Citigroup raises the 2023 GGR forecast to MOP181.5 billion ($22.7 billion), which stands at 62 percent of the 2019 level.

Regarding 2024, the investment bank also modestly raises GGR forecasts by 3 percent to MOP216 billion ($27.1 billion), at 74 percent of the 2019 level, and our FY25E GGR forecast to MOP234 billion ($29.3 billion) at 80 percent of the 2019 level.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.