Sept. GGR rises stronger-than-expected 7.4 percent

Gross gambling revenue rose for a second straight month in September, gaining a greater-than-expected 7.4 percent, after two years of monthly declines.

GGR was MOP18.4 billion ($2.3 billion), according to figures released by the regulator. That was a 2 percent decrease from August. Average daily revenue was MOP613 million.

The month’s data also implied a strengthening in VIP revenue, which has been hardest hit by the mainland Chinese government’s drive to stamp out corruption.”

“September benefited from higher than normal VIP hold rate and stronger-than-expected VIP volumes resulting in potentially a flat or slightly positive y/y growth,” Bernstein said in a note.

Mass was likely up in low to mid double digits, or by about 11 percent to 14 percent.

As a result of this month’s figures, Bernstein says it expects a pick up in the final quarter of the year, with the recent new project openings helping to drive mass growth.

It expects October GGR to be up between 3 percent and 5 percent, with mass showing low double-digit gains. October this year will benefit from one extra weekend compared with the prior year, although this could be potentially offset by a visit to Macau by Chinese premier Li Keqiang. Historically, VIP customers have avoided the market during these visits, such as when the Chinese Premier visited Macau in 2014. The impact of this state visit on GGR is expected to be minimal, however, given the overall decline in the contribution of VIP revenue.

Meanwhile the August hotel occupancy rate reached 90.9 percent compared with 84.9 percent in the same period last year.

Las Vegas Sands opened the doors to its $2.8 billion French-themed The Parisian on Sept. 13, marking the second major integrated resort to open this year after Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Palace made its debut in August.