Macau gaming revenue grows 17% in august

TOKYO • Macau’s gaming revenue topped analyst forecasts for the first time in four months, a result that may ease investor concerns about a slowdown in gambling by high rollers.

Receipts in the world’s largest gaming hub climbed 17% in August from a year earlier to 26.6 billion patacas (RM13.56 billion), above estimates for a median 15% expansion, according to data from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Saturday. Analysts’ forecasts ranged from an increase of 12% to 18%.

Casino revenue in the enclave has shown 25 straight months of growth. Yet, a string of shortfalls has weighed on the industry as concern grows over China’s economic slowdown and a deepening trade war. Wynn Resorts Ltd in early August reported steep declines in second-quarter (2Q) results for its first casino in Macau, driven by a drop in betting by high-rollers.

While the Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino stocks tumbled as much as 31% from a four-year high in May, with MGM China Holdings Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd leading declines, shares have been rebounding in recent weeks on speculation that the sell-off was overdone.

Gross gaming revenue in Macau should grow by about 13% in 3Q, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

While gains in the mass-market sector will continue to outpace VIP, the high-rollers segment still accounts for most of Macau’s casino revenue, they said. — Bloomberg