Macau's three years of decline are finally over, greener pastures in sight

By Caroline Watson
For the first time in three years, Macau has posted positive annual gaming revenue results. The region’s revenue plummeted to an all-time low in 2014, and since has been struggling to regain its composure.

However, 2017 proved to be a different story entirely, with figures posted by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showing that revenues rose 19% to $33.31bn last year.

On an annual basis, winnings have been higher for operators such as Sands China Ltd, Wynn Macau Ltd, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd which have casinos on the Cotai strip.

In December alone, gaming receipts rose almost 15% in December to $3.7bn. Nonetheless, the final month of the year’s performance was weaker than expected.

According to Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Macau’s GGR is set to grow by 11.3% year-on-year during 2018, with an EBITDA growth of approximately 15%. Hopefully this year Macau will be able to continue on this positive trajectory, though as proven time and time again, Macau’s high-roller market isn’t always the easiest to accurately predict.

A representative from Union Gaming stated: “We believe that volumes across virtually all segments were strong for most of December. Even the low end of the market is seeing a resurgence with notable increases in tour group volumes based on our on-the-ground observations.”

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