May 21, 2024 3 min read

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Macau Casinos Poised to Beat Las Vegas Rivals, Analyst Says

In case visitation in Macau continues to rise, the operators in the special administrative region are likely to outperform their rivals in Sin City, according to an expert with CFRA

The performance of hotel-casino operators in Macau was significantly impacted due to the global pandemic a few years ago. While operators in the special administrative region (SAR) are yet to surpass 2019 figures, certainly, the removal of pandemic-related restrictions and the uptick in traveling has been beneficial for the sector.

This growth of Macau casino operators isn’t expected to halt any time soon. In fact, operators in the jurisdiction may even outperform the gambling operators in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, an analyst suggests. As announced by Casino.org, Zachary Warring, an expert research analyst with CFRA, recently spoke about the potential of the sector in Macau.

Focusing on the visitation to the SAR, the analyst said that nearly 400% year-over-year growth was recorded in 2023. Warring outlined that while this exceptional result signals a rebound in visitation, the figure from last year marks a mere 71.6% of the value recorded in 2019.

Visitation to Macau for all of 2023 was up a whopping 395% year-over-year, but was still only 71.6% of 2019 levels,

wrote Zachary Warring, a research analyst with CFRA

Visitation Is Going in the Right Direction

Speaking about 2024, the expert confirmed that visitation may continue to increase. He added that in Q1 this year, visitation to Macau was in the range between 80% and 95% of the rates recorded in 2019.

According to Warring, the visitation rate is going in the “right direction,” and it is undoubtedly going to be a main driver for the growth in Macau casino stocks. Ultimately, if the positive trend remains, the stocks of casino operators in the SAR may even surpass their counterparts in Sin City at some point in the upcoming year, Warring predicted.

We believe 2024 has plenty of upside in visitation and expect visitation to reach 2019 levels in Q4. Visitation for the first three months of 2024 trended between 80% and 95% of 2019 levels and continues to trend in the right direction,

added Warring

Besides the increase in tourism and the expectation for Macau operators to reach pre-pandemic levels, the expert acknowledged the slowing growth in Las Vegas. Warring confirmed that in the opinion of CFRA, the Super Bowl and the Las Vegas Grand Prix helped drive economic growth for Sin City over the last six months. However, the expert said that the events “are now in the rearview with little to drive growth moving forward.”

While the expert said that the stocks for Macau’s gambling sector may outperform operators in Las Vegas, he remained positive about the Las Vegas-based concessionaires in Macau, namely MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands. Warring confirmed that all three aforementioned companies remain with a “buy” rating.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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