With results from Macau’s six gaming operators in, Union Gaming analysts on Friday noted a 15.1 percent rise in mass table GGR in the first quarter of 2017.
The growth in mass GGR outstripped VIP GGR growth, which grew 11.2 percent in the quarter. Mass however, exceeded expectations, growing 15.1 percent compared to estimates of 11 percent growth.
“This, of course, is further good news for the market as a mass-led recovery is what we (and the government) wants to see and gives us greater comfort in our current positioning,” said the brokerage.
“We continue to feel very comfortable owning the mass-centric names Galaxy and Sands China as mass remains a freight train underpinning the market recovery (and argues for premium multiples), while still viewing the names we recently upgraded, Melco and Wynn Macau, as the best ways to play the accelerating VIP recovery (Melco and Wynn) and the delayed smoking ban (Melco).”
Union Gaming notes also that VIP has now returned to positive growth for two quarters, at +10 percent in 4Q16 and +11 percent in 17Q1.
“As we move through 17Q2 and its very easy year-on-year comparisons, we look for VIP and mass to both accelerate closer to 20 percent growth,” noted the brokerage.