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Casino Revenues in Macau Hit All- Time High in March 2017

Casino authorities in Macau have released the financial figures for the month of March 2017. They posted impressive figures for the month. The casinos have collectively earned more that USD 2.65 billion. This showed an 18.1 per cent year over year increase in revenue compared to the same period last year. In local terms, revenue from the month of March this year amounted to MAP (Macau Patacas) 21.23 billion. This also marked a substantial premium on the MAP 17.98 billion they collected the year before for the month of March 2016. March of this year saw total revenues amount to the Special Administrative Region's highest non- holiday month since March of 2015.

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Casino Revenues in Macau

Not only was March 2017 a fantastic month for casino operators in the region, it also continued with the upward trend they have has for a while. Macau casinos have now reported growth for 8 straight months. These figures represent a strong recovery for the city considering what had transpired in the past. Before their luck picked up, casinos in the city endured twenty- six consecutive months in the red, which finally ended last year in August.

The numbers no doubt create a strong case for purchasing casino stocks in the city. For those that had invested previously will be overjoyed by the current situation. Melco Crown Entertainment, owners of Studio City Macau and Altira Macau, was up two per cent on Monday, the 3rd of April 2017. Wynn Macau Ltd, the China holding company of Wynn Resorts, was also up by more than 1.25 per cent.

While critics will argue that the revenues from March 2017 failed to surpass that of February's nearly USD 3 billion, the month was still Macau's third best showing in over two years.

Macau should do better and better

The fast approaching season of spring is sure to provide another boost to the city’s economy. It is safe to say that optimism in China's gambling enclave is at an all- time high. There is every reason for this excitement. For two years Macau suffered declining revenue and dwindling visitor numbers. This was due to authorities in China suppressing VIP touring companies from transporting high rollers from the mainland to the city.  The effects of this disastrous policy have now been dealt with effectively and Macau is not only stabilising but also recovering.

Resorts themselves have started focussing on the mass market over the high- stakes better. The strategy is paying off. It was also the same strategy used by Las Vegas casinos in the past to boost their once dwindling revenues.

There seems to be a plethora of construction projects taking place right at this moment in Macau. While there already are 17 luxury hotels in the area, another 32 are being developed. Not all of the businesses are focussed on gambling. Some can provide a much needed deviation for customers looking for other types of entertainment, such as water parks and zip lines.

Sands Macau

Sands Macau

Accommodation is ready

Visitors are likely to have no shortage of accommodation in Macau. The total number of hotel rooms is expected to increase by nearly 40 per cent over the course of the next few years. At present, Macau can accommodate guests in 36,000 rooms. This number is expected to increase to north of 50,000 by 2020.

A Gaming Analyst from Wells Fargo, Cameron McKnight, predicted continued revenue growth for Macau. Based on his analysis, April is expected show profits that are between 10 to 15 per cent higher than the same period in 2016.

Jobs in Macau

As revenue returns to the gambling enclave, the savvy employers are quick to share the spoils with their staff. Knowing that retention of employees is key in the city’s progress. They are already increasing wages to keep the best from leaving for other companies. The Asian arm of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sand, Sands China Ltd. has taken the lead in increasing wages. Sands China announced a six per cent salary hike for all their full time workers.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement, “We would like to share the successes of 2016 by offering a salary increment and bonus for eligible team members to express our gratitude for their teamwork.”

Three more companies in the area, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Crown, soon followed in the footsteps of Adelson. They publicly announced an increase in wages for their staff too. Wynn Macau was next to follow suit. They gave out higher pay checks for 98 per cent of its 12,400 employees. The move is interesting as the bottom line for the casino was down 40 per cent in 2016. This just goes to show that all these operators have a great deal of faith in the recovery potential of the city.

SJM Holdings, which is owned by billionaire Ho family, was the last of the BIG SIX operators to announce raises for their staff. In a statement last week, they declared that many of their 20,600 full time workers would be seeing higher wages. The company however did not disclose the exact amount of employees that will be eligible for the raise. SJM Holdings, the casino company that held a gambling monopoly on Macau for decades, says earnings will increase between 2.5 and 9.1 per cent.


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