Macau casinos gaming revenue in 2017 grew by 19.1 percent to MOP265.74 billion according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. In 2016 the gaming revenue was MOP223.21 billion according to data released Monday by the DICJ. Macau gaming revenue for December rose 14.6 percent year-on-year to MOP22.69 billion. Macau have 38 casinos located both in the Peninsula and the Cotai reclamation area between Coloane and Taipa islands.
A year ago, I expected Macau’s gross gaming revenue growth would be in the mid-single digits as it recovered from a 26-month slump. In reality, Macau’s GGR growth approached 20% in 2017 finishing at 19.1%. Surprisingly, despite all the talk about and spending on non-gaming attractions to build Macau’s tourism and leisure appeal0 this recovery has been powered by VIP revenue. Yet, now VIP is driving the recovery.
The annual figure rose 19.5% to MOP 265.7b snapping the three-year streak of annual gaming revenue declines that the special administrative region of China has endured since the government in Beijing ramped up its anti-corruption measures in early 2014. That year saw revenue fall 2.6% to MOP 351.5b marking Macau’s first ever annual revenue decline since the market opened up to western operators in 2002.
Winnings have been higher for operators such as Sands China Ltd, Wynn Macau Ltd, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd which have casinos on the Cotai strip a stretch of reclaimed land which now boasts some of Macau’s most opulent properties. SJM Holdings Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd which do not yet have a presence on Cotai have seen market share erode ahead of new openings along the strip.
The venue was originally scheduled to open in Q4 2017 but damage sustained during Typhoon Hato forced the company to push back the date to January 29. That timeline will ensure that MGM Cotai is ready to welcome guests when the usual hordes of mainland travelers descend on Macau to celebrate the Year of the Dog, which officially kicks off on February 16. Here’s hoping this dog is more of a mastiff than a chihuahua.