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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Macau casinos experience 14th straight monthly revenue decline

4 August 2015

Macau gaming revenue fell 34.5 percent in July, the Chinese casino market's 14th straight monthly decline and the sixth straight month the region has experienced drops of 30 percent or higher.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said Monday Macau's nearly three-dozen large and small casinos collected $2.3 billion from gamblers in July. The percentage drop was the lowest since January.

For the first seven months of the year, Macau casinos have seen revenue decline almost 37 percent compared to the same period in 2014. In February, Macau casinos experienced a single-month record drop of 49 percent.

Macau's monthly revenue totals are hovering near five-year lows.

"We see little in the way of read through stemming from the monthly result and would consider July to be no better or worse than expected," Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli told investors.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International operate casinos in Macau and are expanding their holdings. Macau's sinking gaming revenue caused Las Vegas Sands' net income to slip more than 30 percent in the second quarter, while Wynn's profits fell 72 percent in the same three-month period.

Macau continues to weigh down on Wynn and Las Vegas Sands, which realize more than 60 percent of their quarterly earnings from the Chinese enclave.

"We remain neutral on Macau gaming and continue to believe there will be no V-shaped recovery as the liquidity-induced 'Macau Bubble' of the past five years continues to deflate," said Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Cameron McKnight.

Business pressures continue to weigh on junket operators charged with bringing high-end business to Macau casinos. The Chinese government has said its anti-corruption campaign is in a third phase and could last two more years.

"We continue to believe VIP junkets remain pressured, given high leverage and macroeconomic pressures," McKnight said. "Generally, the Chinese economy remains weak and the government noted this week it lacks a new engine for growth."

More competition is coming to Macau.

Santarelli said the 1,600-room Macau Studio City Hotel-Casino being built by Melco-Crown is expected to open by the end of October. Las Vegas Sands said last week its $2.7 billion Parisian resort would open in 12 months, while Wynn Resorts set a late March opening for the $4.1 billion Wynn Palace. MGM Resorts International expects to open its $2.9 billion MGM Cotai late next year.

Macau. the world's largest gaming market by revenue, produced a record $45.2 billion in gaming totals in 2013. The figure fell 2.6 percent in 2014, the first time the region experienced a year-over-year decline.