ambling revenue for the city’s casinos in May rose to about us$ 2.12 billion from us$ 1 billion a year earlier, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the data isn’t public.
The total for the five months through May rose to about us$ 8.7 billion from us$ 5.2 billion a year earlier, the person said. Growth is accelerating for casinos in the only Chinese city where they are legal on more wagers at baccarat tables with minimum bets of us$ 1,221 or more.
Macau gambling revenue surged 57 % in the first quarter to about us$ 5 billion as China’s economic growth accelerated to 11.9 %, the fastest pace in almost three years. Macau’s government doesn’t release monthly figures.
“The strong growth for gaming revenue seems to come from more VIP versus mass gambling,” Huei Suen Ng, a Hong Kong-based analyst for CLSA Ltd., said in a note to clients today. The trend will favor casino operators who target VIP gamblers, or those who play at high-limit tables where bets can go up to as much as us$ 244.260 per hand.
The casino companies with “larger VIP exposure” are Wynn Macau Ltd., Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., the CLSA analyst said. Wynn Macau gained 2.2 % to in Hong Kong while Melco International Ltd., one of the partners that control Melco Crown, rose 1.9 %, and Galaxy advanced 1.7 %.
Billionaire Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings Ltd. has the highest market share among Macau casinos with 32 %, according to CLSA’s estimates, followed by Sands China Ltd. with about 20 % and Wynn Macau with 16 %. Melco Crown had 14 %, Galaxy had 11 % and MGM Mirage had 7 %, according to CLSA.
Macau surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s biggest gambling hub in 2006. Bettors wagered a record 119 billion in Macau’s casinos last year, 9.7 % higher than in 2008.