Macau Gaming Growth Tops Forecasts After Months-Long Slowdown

(Bloomberg) -- Macau gaming revenue growth topped analysts’ estimates in November, as casino operators regained some momentum following months of weakness tied to China’s economic slowdown.

  • Gross gaming revenue in Macau rose 8.5 percent in November to 25 billion patacas ($3.1 billion) from a year earlier, according to data Saturday from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau. That beat the median analyst estimate for growth of 4 percent.

Key Insights

  • November’s result is a welcome signal for investors, and represents a 28th straight month of growth in the world’s biggest gambling hub. Yet it’s not quite a recovery. This is the third month in a row of single-digit growth, with September and October notching the weakest showings in more than two years.
  • Analysts are debating the prospects for the industry as rich gamblers pull back amid an economic slowdown in China. Profits are still climbing and are forecast to hit a record next year, but the rate of growth is seen slowing as casinos face stiffer competition and emerging new hot spots in Asia.
  • The data come as Macau is pushing out the timeline for casino operators to bid for licenses, a move that adds further uncertainty on top of concerns about the impact of the trade war between China and the U.S.

Market Impact

  • The Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino stocks climbed about 12 percent in November, the best monthly showing in more than a year. Yet it’s still down more than 36 percent from a peak in May.

Get More

  • Click here for analysts’ broader take on Macau gaming.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.