Macao casino revenue will keep rising, experts say
Following growth in January and February, Las Vegas gaming industry analysts say some estimates for gross gaming revenue and cash flow are conservative.
Gaming industry analysts expect casino revenue to continue rising in Macao after back-to-back months of growth.
The region’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Wednesday reported a 33.1 percent increase in gross gaming revenue to $1.3 billion in February compared with a year earlier.
While February figures were down from January, John DeCree of Las Vegas-based CBRE Equity Research said that decline was expected because of the normal tourism lull that occurs immediately after the region’s “Golden Week” celebration of Lunar New Year.
The combined two-month total revenue of $2.7 billion is 55.3 percent ahead of 2022, after a strong January that included the celebration.
“We remain bullish on the recovery in Macao and see an upside scenario where cash flow recovers ahead of expectations in 2023,” DeCree said.
A recovery in Macao is particularly important to Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International, which have a presence in Macao and recently signed 10-year licensing extensions that will require them to invest billions of dollars in nongaming amenities there.
Macao, slammed for the past three years by government-imposed restrictions and shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, started to rebound in January, and new policies such as this week’s lifting of outdoor mask policies may help with further recovery.
A survey of analysts conducted by Bloomberg indicated most believed revenue would increase to $18 billion in 2023. Macao’s chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, said he believed revenue would reach at least $16 billion for the year. That’s just over the $14.8 billion Nevada collected in 2022.
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Contact Richard N. Velotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.