Gaming analysts are divided over the long-term impact of Typhoon Hato on gross gaming revenues registered in the first 10 days of September.
According to analysts at Telsey Advisory Group, the first 10 days of September were ‘stronger than expected’ with gross gaming revenues seeing an increase between 19 per cent to 20 per cent year-on-year, with a table win per day between HK$770 million (US$98,5 million) and HK$790 million.
‘Although our sources indicate that the luck factor has benefited results and volumes should slow ahead of the Golden Week in October, the early indications are that results are eclipsing the more challenging comparisons,’ the Telsey note informed.
Nevertheless the group believes the higher than average table hold percentage – the portion of money gambled that a casino retains – seen in the last months could reverse for an extended period, slowing down before the Golden Week period.
Analysts at Telsey also believed the junket operator sector has become more consolidated, ‘focused’ and ‘financially healthier’, after the fear and conservatism that affected VIP results in previous years.
Glass half full
On the other hand, analysts at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein Co, considered that the impact of Typhoon Hato on August 23 affected the revenue during the first 10 days of September, with average daily revenues (ADR) of MOP680 million, 8 per cent less than the MOP741 million in ADR seen in August.
‘While the slowdown in September is expected on weaker seasonality, the first 10 days of the period covered two full weekends,’ the Bernstein note stated.
The firms’ analysts also believed mass market gross gaming revenues were down monthly by mid-single digits with the VIP sector being down for around 10 per cent monthly.
Nevertheless the Bernstein note points out that even with the current level of ADR, September would see a year-on-year increase of gross gaming revenues between 8 per cent and 11 per cent, finishing with results between MOP19.8 billion and MOP20.4 billion.