Revenue from VIP gaming in Macau casinos increased by 16.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year, at MOP35.49 billion (US$3.8 billion), compared to the same period in 2016, according to official data released by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ).
The data provided by the DICJ indicates VIP sector revenues via the results of VIP baccarat during the quarter.
Between January and March of this year, the VIP sector represented 55.9 per cent of total gaming revenue from games of chance in the territory, going up by almost 2 percentage points from the same period last year.
The sector showed a considerable improvement in 2017, after registering a 42.1 per cent year-on-year decline in VIP baccarat numbers in the first three months of 2016.
In terms of mass market gross gaming revenue in the first three months of the year – including mass table games, slots and live multi games – the data released shows an increase of 8.5 per cent to reach MOP27.98 billion.
The MSAR gross gaming revenue, not including horse and greyhound racing, lotteries and sports betting, reached MOP63.48 billion in the first three months of the year – a 13 per cent year-on-year increase from the same period last year – increasing by 5.4 per cent quarter-to-quarter from the last three months of 2016.
The VIP market saw a 6.4 per cent uptick quarter-to-quarter from the MOP33.33 billion registered in the last three months of 2016, with the mass market sector growing by 3.1 per cent.
Tables and slot machines up
At at the end of March this year, the number of gaming tables in town stood at 6,423, an increase of 136 tables from the last quarter of 2016, with the major opening in that period being that of casino hotel Legend Palace by local gaming operator Macau Legend Development Ltd.
Slot machine revenue between January and March of this year went up by 13.3 per cent year-on-year to MOP3.23 billion, with the number of slot machines in the Macau market increasing by 12 per cent year-on-year to 16,018.
When compared to the last three months of 2016, revenue from slot machines went up by 5.8 per cent, with 2,192 slot machines added during the January-March period of this year.
Revenue from greyhound racing bets maintained its continuous decline, seeing values in the first three months of 2017 falling 16.6 per cent quarter-to-quarter to reach MOP10 million, representing 0.01 per cent of the total gaming revenues in this period.
In 2016, the local gaming regulator, Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co., saw its annual revenue drop by 43 per cent year-on-year from MOP125 million in 2015 to MOP71 million, according to DICJ data.
Horseracing betting revenues between January and March of this year reached MOP31 million, MOP1 million less than in the previous quarter.
In total, revenue from non-casino related games of fortune such as sports betting, horse and greyhound race betting and lotteries, amounted to MOP2.26 billion, representing only 3.5 per cent of total gaming revenues in the first quarter of 2017.