Macau’s gross gaming revenue saw a 22.1% year-on-year increase in October to MOP$26.6 billion – the highest monthly amount in exactly three years and well above estimates of growth in the low-teens.
Buoyed by a strong finish to Golden Week at the start of the month, Macau’s operators enjoyed average daily revenue of MOP$859 million, representing a 21% sequential increase.
The strong results were particularly surprising given that there was one fewer Saturday than in October 2016, with VIP again driving momentum at around 30% growth.
According to Union Gaming’s Head of Asia Equity Research, Grant Govertsen, Macau has benefited from an increase in hotel rooms over the past 12 months which has led to more overnight visitation.
“Our on-the-ground observations continue to see a higher quality customer coming to Macau, which, to some extent, is replacing a lower-quality day trip customer from years past,” he said. “We continue to believe a big driver of this customer is the availability of hotel rooms (both from a marketing/comping perspective as it relates to higher net worth individuals and from a value perspective as it relates to cash paying FIT customers).”
Early estimates for November and December suggest that the continued performance of VIP should drive Macau to combined 4Q17 growth of mid-to-high teens.