The third quarter of 2019 was good for Macau casinos in the mass market baccarat sector. Revenues outshone the VIP take – by far.
In fact, the mass market crushed its flashier cousin according to new figures from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).
Total casino gaming revenue reached MOP70.8b (US$8.74b) in the three months ending September 30th, a 4.2% decline from last year and 3.4% less than the second quarter.
Revenues for VIP gaming totaled MOP31.1b, marking a serious decline of 22.4% year-on-year and 10.1%, below the second quarter total. Its share of total revenue in the third quarter tanked to 43.8%. This means it is down 10.3 points from Q3 2018.
The figures tell the tale
Looking at year-to-date, VIP revenue is lower at 17% or MOP102.9b.
Macau’s mass market results are quite different. revenue rose 17.6% year-on-year to MOP39.7b. Based on baccarat alone – without slots (MOP3.82b, +8.6%) and other gaming products – the mass revenue total has grown 20.5% to MOP30.5b, only MOP600m off the sector’s total.
Note: Year-to-date, total mass revenue is up 18% to MOP117.9b.
Analysts say “whoa.” Don’t get excited. The mass sector’s “dethroning” of VIP is not what it seems. Macau’s smoking rules, originally targeted at the mass gaming floor, have played a part in the change. As of January 1 of this year, they were extended to VIP gambling rooms.
The pundits are not pessimistic, however. They believe Macau’s 2019 gaming revenue is on track to record. They expect an annual decline of around 3%.
Looking at the September report, they see a 0.6% year-on-year rise; but the small recent monthly increases represent the lowest percentage gain of 2019.
Elsewhere, the Macau Slot sports betting monopoly reported a drop in revenue of 20% year-on-year to MOP178m. The cause? The third quarter of 2018 enjoyed an artificial boost at the end of the FIFA World Cup.
By comparison, the Macau Jockey Club racing monopoly reached a 47.3% revenue spike, although a paltry MOP28m.