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In the month of November Macau casino gaming revenue fell hard although the final stats were somewhat better than many analysts had predicted.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) released figures on Sunday show the special administrative region’s casino operators generated gaming revenue of MOP25b (US$2.84b) in November, an 8.5% fall from the same month last year and 13.5% below October 2019’s total.

As informed on Calvinayre.com, November’s drop marked the seventh month of year-on-year drops so far in 2019, and the 8.5% drop was second only to the 8.6% fall the Macau market faced in August. This year November’s revenue was the second-lowest, above only September’s MOP22.1b.

Macau’s current griefs have mainly been laid at the doors of the casinos’ VIP rooms, which have strived as high-rollers give Macau a wide berth. The VIP skittishness has been attributed to several factors, including tightened liquidity for some manufacturing execs as the US-China trade war continues and Chinese authorities’ revived interest in the activities of certain junket operators.

Macau’s total market performance would have been much more terrible were it not for strong growth in the mass market gaming segment, which surpassed VIP baccarat revenue in the first quarter of 2019 and has stayed ahead ever since.

Gaming revenue is down 2.4% to MOP269.7m (US$33.4b) for the year-to-date, and it seems almost certain that Macau’s two-year phase of annual revenue growth will end in 2019. After three years of significant drops which started in 2014, Macau posted annual rises in both 2017 and 2018.

December is likely to extend Macau’s gaming revenue drop as Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Macau mid-month to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macau’s handover from Portugal. Prior to Xi’s visit, China placed temporary restrictions on exit visas for Macau-bound travelers on November 22 which will extend through December 20.

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