With the weak gambling scene in Macau, 2019’s GGR is expected to push downward. Macau has experienced a few positive flow but not enough to keep the revenue up. Following lack of positives in the fourth quarter as well as the flat-lined gaming market, forecasters are estimating a decline of three to nine percent.
Nomura brokerage analysts explained that the market had been challenged more than they had expected. In light of this, the analysts forecast that the Q4’s GGR will face up to 8% year-on-year drop. If this is the case, it will be 300 points below the market consensus percentage of -5.
The analysts further expect the GGR of the VIP segment to decline as well. Expected decline will be at 26% year-on-year compared to the -22% consensus. However, mass gaming is set to improve in the midst of declines. The latter is expected to rise by 14% making it an improvement over the 12% consensus.
Three Namura analysts; Brian Dobson, Daniel Adam and Harry Curtis believe the decline has to do with the Chinese New Year. This year, the celebration was in February while next year it will fall at the end of January.
These analysts believe that the drop is due to the fact that visitors who want to visit Macau are forced to wait up to next year to participate in the New Year festivities unlike other parts of the globe. While most countries are ushering in a festive holiday, in China it is just a normal month on the calendar.
Apart from Namura brokerage, the Sanford Bernstein brokerage has given its estimates as well. According to them, Macau’s GGR will face an overall decline of -7. A 26% drop will also be expected from the VIP segment while the mass gaming segment will face a 9% gain.
Analysts Eunice Lee, Vitaly Umansky and Kelsey Zhu from Sanford Bernstein claimed that if the Q4 estimates were accurate overall 2019 GGR would be -3%. In that case, the VIP segment will have a decline of -19% while mass gaming will have an increase of 11%.
The trio added that although operators are cautious of the recovery prospects, the VIP deceleration is slowly stabilizing.
Another issue that is expected to affect Q4 numbers is President Xi Jinping’s visit to Macau. An article by CalvinAyre.com points that the planned visit is a commemoration of Macau’s turnover from Portugal to China.
The visit is said to result to tight security across Macau hindering free movement across venues. An official statement is expected to be released which will shed light if the visit will actually take place or not.
Hong Kong protests also adds to the list of Macau’s woes, The Bernstein analysts explain that although the protests had no direct impact, the recent escalation of events impacted on the Q3 results.
Lastly is the ongoing trade war between China and the US which has had both direct and indirect impact on Macau’s GGR. This is because it has slowed down Chinese gamblers’ interaction with US markets and softened China’s domestic consumer market.