Macau’s GGR up 2.6% in January on premium mass, luck volatility: experts

Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) advanced 2.6% in January this year, month-to-month, to MOP8.02 billion, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) released the city’s up-to-date gaming statistics yesterday.

The January GGR is by far the highest monthly tally since February 2020, when marks the Covid-19 outbreak and the ensuing economic impact started to kick in.

Nonetheless, the January figure represented a significant plunge of 63.7% on a yearly basis from MOP22.1 billion in January 2020 — albeit as the smallest year-to-year contraction since February last year.

Even 2021 started off with a further sign of recovery in gaming performance, Ben Lee, managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting, told the Times that “it is still too early to say” the prospect for GGR in the whole of 2021, by just resting on January’s tally.

“The better than expected January GGR is probably due to short term volatility in luck,” Lee commented.

“As can be expected, when volume decreases, volatility in the luck factor increases, leading to large gyrations, and we have seen that throughout the course of 2020, and which will undoubtedly continue for the rest of the year [2021],” Lee projected.

Concerning the travel advisories issued earlier by China’s municipal governments to urge residents to avoid unnecessary travel during the forthcoming Spring Festival, Lee is expecting it will “definitely have a dampening effect on our CNY (Chinese New Year) expectations.”

He believed that the impact will also be channeled into the hotel industry, which is likely to see a reduced number in hotel room bookings, as compared to the same period last year.

According to a report published yesterday by GGR Asia, Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, an investment research and institutional asset management company, commented over Macau’s gaming revenue in January 2021.

The company said there were two dampeners that continued to negatively suppress the January GGR. They are weakness in VIP volumes and visitation bottlenecks hampered by visa application procedures and Covid-19 test requirements.

“On a relative basis, premium mass was the best performing segment during the month, while junket VIP was most hamstrung and base mass continued to be hampered by low levels of visitors and Hong Kong travel closure,” Sanford C. Bernstein stated in the report.

Sanford C. Bernstein echoes Lee’s remarks and is also anticipating lowered visitor arrivals from China due to the Chinese governments’ travel entreaty.

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said in a media briefing earlier that she is also expecting lower tourist arrivals during the Spring Festival compared to the Christmas period last year.




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