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Howard Stutz

Macau casinos record second-largest monthly revenue in August

4 September 2013

Macau’s casino industry recorded its second-highest single month gaming revenue total during August, and analysts said the market shows no signs of slowing.

Casinos in the Chinese gaming enclave collected $3.8 billion from gamblers during August, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau announced Monday. The total was an 18 percent increase over August 2012.

August’s figure was topped only by the all-time single month record of $3.92 billion that Macau casinos collected in March.

Analysts said the figure was impressive given that Typhoon Utor may have slowed visitation for two or three days during the month.

For the first eight months of 2013, Macau gaming revenues are up 16 percent over 2012, when the market collected a record $38 billion. Analysts are predicting 16 percent to 18 percent revenue growth in 2013.

“We believe Macau fundamentals remain strong across all relevant segments and we have strong conviction that these trends are likely to continue through the balance of the year and into early next year,” said Union Gaming Group principal Grant Govertsen, who is based in Macau.

MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd., and Las Vegas Sand Corp., all operate casinos in Macau and the three companies are in each building new resorts on the region’s Cotai Strip.

Wynn and Las Vegas Sands collect more than 70 percent of their companies’ overall revenues from Macau.

Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said Las Vegas Sands’ four Macau properties, including the year-old Cotai Central development, will benefit from new ways to ease access to the market.

“As ongoing infrastructure projects designed to ease travel to Macau and further penetrate large Mainland population centers come to fruition, we believe Las Vegas should be able to capture a disproportionate share of these incremental trips,” Wieczynski said.

RBC Capital Markets gaming analyst John Kempf said Macau casinos will have tougher comparisons in the rest of 2013 in order to exceed gaming revenue totals over 2012. However, Kempf said a stronger Chinese economy is a good sign for Macau.

“Observers point to improved domestic and international demand, as export orders have also increased recently,” Kempf said. “We view the latter as a positive sign for Macau given its proximity to Guangdong province.”