VIP growth outpaces mass in 17Q1

Macau’s VIP segment recorded MOP 35.5 billion in GGR in the first quarter of 2017, growing 16.8 percent year-on-year, and 6 percent sequentially, according to the latest figures from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).

The growth figures outstripped that of mass revenue growth, at only 7.9 percent growth in the quarter.

Taking into account table reclassifications, Union Gaming notes that the real growth rates in 17Q1 were closer to VIP +14 percent and mass +11 percent, suggesting that the VIP segment is rebounding.  

“This then marks the third consecutive quarter of mass growth in the 11 percent to 12 percent range and is encouraging in the context of a stable mass-anchored recovery. This also represents the first time in nearly six years (11Q3) that VIP grew at a faster rate than mass,” noted the brokerage on Tuesday.

“Digging deeper into the numbers. It has become clear that the high end of the market has rebounded – and we would apply this to both VIP and premium mass,” it added.

Meanwhile, slots GGR also saw positive numbers, growing 13 percent year-on-year in the quarter, the highest level of growth in nearly four years.

“While the gut reaction would attribute most of the strength in slots to the fact that Macau is “on sale” and budget-conscious gamblers can get a cheap room, we also believe that high-end / VIP slots are also outperforming,” noted the analysts.

Earlier this month, DICJ reported total GGR in the first quarter of 2017 of MOP 63.5 billion (US$7.9 billion), up 13 percent year-on-year.