Gross gaming revenue in Macao fell 5% in January to 24.9 billion patacas ($3.1 billion) from a year earlier, according to data from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.
January’s revenue decline, which was anticipated, snapped 29 straight months of growth. The timing of this year’s Lunar New Year didn’t help Macao’s monthly casino takings. The holiday typically comes with a few weeks of a marked slowdown prior to it. Those weeks of lag showed up in the January numbers, setting up a difficult comparison against a January 2018 revenue gain that was the strongest in four years.
This month’s receipts, which will reflect the lunar holiday, are expected to grow 5%, according to a survey of analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
Lawrence Ho, chief executive officer of casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment, said last week that the concerns about Macao are overblown. With all of the casino operator’s hotel rooms at its three properties all sold out, Ho said he expects a booming Lunar New Year holiday.
The market was also buoyed by Wynn Resorts’ estimate beat this week, after it reported that fourth-quarter revenue and earnings were stronger than expected and attributed it to improved business in December.
“Chinese New Year is coming up and that is going to be the real test for the first quarter,” said CEO Matthew Maddox.
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