n 2012, mass-market revenue (including slot-machines) increased by 30 percent in comparison with the previous year, official data shows. VIP revenue was up by 7.5 percent for the same period. For the first quarter, the two analysts say that they expect a year-on-year growth rate of 7 percent for this month, followed by 11 percent in February, and 15 percent in March.
Helping those forecasts is the fact that the risks associated with the partial smoking ban inside casinos and the regulatory clampdowns in the mainland have been lower than expected, Morgan Stanley says. Meanwhile, Macau-based gaming operators are to report their fourth-quarter operating results between the end of February and early March.
The investment bank forecasts double-digit quarter-on-quarter growth in property EBITDA for four gaming operators: Sands China (18 percent), Melco Crown Entertainment (12 percent), SJM Holdings (10 percent) and MGM China Holdings (10 percent). It adds that Galaxy Entertainment Group could post quarter-on-quarter growth of 5 percent, while Wynn Macau could be flat.