Macau gaming demand remains weak

Macau gaming demand remains weakGaming demand in Macau casino properties appears to remain generally weak, and may have dampened investor interest in James Packer’s efforts to arrange financing for the resort he plans in Las Vegas opposite the Wynn-Encore complex.

It has been apparent for months that Asian appetites for high level gambling are not as visible as they were months ago. The Packer project was conceived with the Asian in mind.

This was one of the points made by analysts who have found “inconsistencies” in the release of gross gaming revenue figures, the sort of numbers previously used by the investment community to add hard data to their subjective observations.

Since the turn of the year, brokerages covering Macau gaming have noted inconsistencies in weekly unofficial industry data. They add this makes it hard to accurately predict monthly numbers. The official monthly revenue numbers from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau are only issued retrospectively, usually on the first working day of the following month.

Daiwa analysts Jamie Soo, Adrian Chan and Jennifer Wu noted: “On the ground, we continue to observe overall weak gaming volumes across properties. At the current run rate, we continue to expect April to see a 15 percent year-on-year decline in GGR, likely reaching all-in GGR of about $2 billion.”

“While April is expected to be seasonally soft, should ADR remain at this sub-optimal level, it may weigh on the gaming stocks in the near term,” the analysts said.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: .

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