A “strong recovery” in the Macau casino market continues “whether or not local holiday periods are involved,” according to a note from JPMorgan Securities (Asia Pacific) on Wednesday, commenting on its gross gaming revenue (GGR) performance for February versus January.
Macau’s February GGR fell 10.8% month-on-month to MOP 10.32 billion ($1.28 billion), data released by Macau casino regulator Game Inspection Coordination Bureau showed on Wednesday. Nevertheless, February results were up 33.1% year-on-year. 파칭코사이트인포
The January GGR performance included a period of Chinese New Year (CNY) festival towards the end of the month. COVID-19-related travel restrictions involving mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong have been eased since Jan. 8, with a significant increase in Macau visitors.
JPMorgan analysts DSKIM and Mufansi observed in a note on Wednesday that the February GGR results “mean a daily utilization rate of 369 million MOPs, which is consistent with January rates (MOP 374 million per day), even if there is no January Spring Festival holiday.” This means that February this year was three days less than the previous month, but the daily average GGR in February fell only 1.3% compared to January.
Still, February data should help the market gain confidence in the sustainability of the recovery, while denying bears’ claims that the strong January beat was only ‘around a week’ from the Lunar New Year’s rise, analysts added.
The February results represent a “44% recovery” compared to the pre-pandemic trading period in February 2019, despite what the brokerage called the “disappearance of the junket VIP” as its business segment.
The February tally suggested that the mass market GGR and VIP GGR had “rebounded” to around 65% and 15% of pre-COVID levels, respectively, according to the brokerage.
Citing Singapore, Las Vegas, Nevada, and South Korea, the JPMorgan team said it is encouraging in that the pace of mass recovery so far is comparable to that of other jurisdictions.
Citing its own research and comments, the brokerage suggested that the VIP segment “shows signs of recovery” with the business of so-called ‘direct’ or house-managed VIP customers, which industry commentators traditionally regard as a marginal part of the market compared to pre-pandemic junket generation play.