Mass-Market Gaming the Big Winner in Macau in 4Q2021

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Mass gaming is going to be the big driver of gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau. This trend already began last year and will become more pronounced as junkets continue to lose their spot. The last quarter of 2021 saw how important the mass-market gaming segment was for the city’s GGR, blowing away the VIP input.

Mass-Market Gaming Takes Control of Macau

According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ, for its Portuguese acronym) data, 74.3% of Macau’s GGR was generated by mass-market gambling, which included slot machines.

The contribution of the mass segment was a record quarterly high since the market-liberalization era at the start of the current century, according to official data.

VIP Baccarat, which in 2019 accounted for almost half of all Macau GGR, composed just 25.7% of the amount in the three months ending December 31, coming in slightly under MOP4.90 billion ($610 million). In the third quarter, 31.8% of all casino GGR was accounted for by the VIP segment.

Revenues from the VIP segment fell 17.8% quarter-over-quarter, while revenue in mass-market baccarat increased by 12.3% sequentially.

In money terms, mass-market baccarat made up 62.2% of GGR for quarter three of 2021. Slot machines accounted for MOP1.15 billion ($143.17 million), or 6.0% of the total GGR.

For the full year of 2021, VIP revenues accounted for 32.8%, or MOP28.49 million ($3.54 million), of the total casino GGR. According to official data, this is a decline from 43.5% market share in the previous year.

VIP Gaming Under Fire

Industry observers have noticed that the VIP market has come under increasing commercial pressure because of a combination of regulatory and pandemic-related issues.

Macau’s casino-junket sector has been under the spotlight ever since Alvin Chau was detained in Macau. Also, the shutting down of Suncity Group, which was previously described as the largest VIP operator within the city by investment analysts, also contributed to those developments.

It was reported that several of Macau’s casino concessionaires had decided to stop working with other junket companies after all Suncity Group VIP Rooms in Macau were closed on December 1. Wynn Macau Ltd. and Melco Resorts Entertainment Ltd. confirmed last month that junkets had ceased operations at respective Macau properties.

Macau is finalizing its updated gambling laws for 2022, and they should be approved in the coming weeks. With this and the introduction of new concessions, the local gaming market is going to have a different look and feel to it than it has in recent years. Gone are the days of focusing solely on gaming revenue, with all operators expected to diversify their activities.

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