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March GGR increases 22.2 percent, above expectations

Macau GGR beat analyst expectations in March, due mainly to an uptick in VIP during the last week of the month, according to analysts.

Gross gaming revenue reached MOP 25.95 billion (US$3.2 billion), representing an increase of 22.2 percent year-on-year compared to 2017.

Union Gaming said that while there was a slowdown in GGR during the first few weeks of the month due to National People's Congress (NPC) meetings in Beijing, GGR sharply accelerated after the conclusions of the meetings, particularly in VIP.

According to channel checks from Bernstein, ADR for the month was MOP 837 million, with the last week of March seeing an implied ADR of MOP 925 million.

Union Gaming said it expects the momentum to carry into April “as additional pent-up demand works its way through the system before returning to a normalized state,” with April GGR to grow 21.5 percent year-on-year.

Bernstein on the other hand took a slightly more conservative view for the month of April, expecting only a mid-high teens growth.

Looking ahead, Union Gaming said it expects 18Q2 GGR to grow 20 percent year-on-year. This includes an April forecast of 21.5 percent, May of 18.7 percent and June of 20 percent.

“The April calendar is tough with one fewer Saturday as compared to 2017, the May calendar is neutral, and the June calendar is favorable with one additional Saturday. It is likely that the VIP growth rate will continue to outpace the mass/slots growth rate, although mass/slots is likely still growing at least in the teens while VIP is growing in the mid-20 percent range,” said the brokerage.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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