Macau bullish on its prospect for growth in 2018 as 2017 revenue figures showing double digit boost

  • Macau government predicting double-digit growth
  • Gross gaming revenue for 2017 is up 19.2% on 2016

The rapid growth in Macau’s casino gaming revenue is set to continue in 2018, according to the Macau government.

Lionel Leong is bullish about Macau's prospects for future revenue growth - and the facts seem to bear him out.
Lionel Leong is bullish about Macau’s prospects for future revenue growth – and the facts seem to bear him out.

According to Lionel Leong Vai Tac, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, the Macau authority was forecasting an expansion of gross gaming revenue (GGR) after what is already looking like a seriously healthy return in 2017.

Macau is now famously a casino haven that exceeds even Las Vegas for its revenues – largely down to the fact it is a Chinese territory and thousands of wealthy Chinese flock there to enjoy the state’s casinos and other entertainment.

Mr Leong made his prediction in a government press release during which he also addressed the current year’s revenue performance, saying that he expected that GGR for 2017 will show double-digit growth from 2016, which would exceed the government’s initial forecast.

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“Casino sector revenue is posting stable and positive growth,” he said.

We believe [GGR] will continue to increase at a rate above one single digit and that [full-year 2017 GGR] will be better than last year’s.”

It is expected that a number of non-gaming events will also boost revenue in the last two months of the year, most notably the Macau Grand Prix motor racing event, which this year is being staged from November 16 to 19.

Market trends

According to GGR Asia, Mr Leong went on to predict that with the current market trends, the government was estimating that gaming-related tax revenue would go up in 2018, thanks to an increase in GGR, though he did not put a figure on expected GGR growth.

Last November, the Macau government forecast that 2017 GGR would hit the MOP200 billion ($25 billion) mark in 2017, an average of MOP16.6 billion every month. But according to data released last week by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the GGR tally for the opening ten months of the year was just short of MOP220 billion (US$27.5 billion), which represents a 19.2 percent increase from the same point in 2016.

One factor that is likely to boost GGR in 2018 is the delayed opening of MGM Cotai by MGM China Holdings Ltd.

The resort was originally set for a fourth-quarter of 2017 launch, but will now open on January 29, 2018.

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