Macau’s fortunes shine as April gaming revenues surge 28 per cent

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 8:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 11:02pm

Macau’s gaming revenues jumped 27.6 per cent year on year in April, helping the enclave record growth for 21 consecutive months.

Revenues in April reached 25.7 billion patacas (US$3.2 billion) compared to 20.1 billion patacas a year earlier, according to figures from the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Tuesday. Total revenues for the first four months touched 102.2 billion patacas, up 22.2 per cent year on year.

The figures handily beat China Renaissance estimates, which predicted growth of about 18 per cent for April.

Angela Han, analyst at the investment bank, said she had expected a relatively quiet month after a busy March and thought mass customers from the mainland would defer their visit. But gamers from China seem to have taken advantage of the three-day “mini Golden Week” holiday from April 29 to May 1.

Han picked Melco Resorts & Entertainment as a top buy on account of the upcoming opening of its new hotel, Morpheus, at the City of Dreams resort, in the second half of the year.

Macau was hit hard by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sweeping crackdown on corruption starting in 2014 that saw high rollers from the mainland staying away from the city’s casinos for fear of being targeted by Beijing.

Things started to pick up in 2016, when more “mom-and-pop” or family visitors started flocking to the city, which is the only legal place for gambling in China. A number of casinos including MGM China are wooing these so-called “mass premium” customers with their newly opened projects featuring more mass friendly facilities.