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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Macau gaming revenue down 39 percent in April, 11th straight monthly dip

11 May 2015

Macau gaming revenue fell for the 11th straight month during April and analysts universally believe May will mark a year of declines for the world’s largest gambling market.

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said earlier this week that Macau casinos collected $2.4 billion from gamblers, a 39 percent drop from April 2014. The month also marked the ninth straight double-digit decline.

Several analysts are expecting another mid-30 percent decline this month.

April’s figure followed a 39.4 percent and 48.6 percent drop in March and February, respectively. In the first four months of 2015, gaming revenue in Macau is down 37 percent.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd., and MGM Resorts International all operate casinos in Macau and cited poor results from the market with hurting first-quarter earnings. All three companies are building mutibillion dollar hotel-casinos on Macau’s Cotai Strip.

A government crackdown on corruption since last year has slowed high-end gaming play in the market.

During his company’s first quarter earnings call, Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn said the Chinese government needs to “provide clarity on its plans,” saying uncertainty was the “plaguing word of the day.”

Macau casinos reported the market’s first-ever annual decline in 2014, when gaming revenue fell 2.6 percent from 2013’s all-time single-year record of $45.2 billion.

Analysts are predicting casino revenue could top out at between $30 billion and $35 billion when 2015 is in the books.

In March, Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui told lawmakers in a public policy address that the region entered an “adjustment” period of slower and stable growth. Chui, who has been Macau’s top government leader since 2009, vowed to toughen regulation on the gaming industry when casino license renewals start taking place in the next few years.