Studio City 3.6 pct mass table share in Nov: Bernstein

Studio City – Macau's first major new casino resort to open with no junket rooms– generated approximately MOP278 million (US$34.8 million) in casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for mass table games in November, said a note on Monday from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.

The institution, quoting unofficial industry returns, said it represented a Macau market share for table games play of approximately 3.6 percent in November. Studio City (pictured) – which opened on October 27 at a cost of US$3.2 billion – is 60 percent owned by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc had said in a note on November 4, that the 200 mass-market tables that Studio City had at launch represented 3 percent of the Macau market's table capacity. Studio City is to receive a further 50 tables from the Macau government in January.

Sanford Bernstein added in its Monday analysis that Studio City's average daily revenue for November was approximately MOP9.3 million, which it said was 1.5 percent lower than the resort achieved in the five days of October that it was operational.

Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Simon Zhang and Bo Wen noted, regarding market wide revenue share for November among the six Macau operators: "At individual company level, Melco Crown was a clear winner, growing its market share to record high level (16.6 percent), principally due to Studio City's ramp up in its first full month operation."

The institution said that Melco Crown – which runs VIP gaming at its fully-owned Macau resorts City of Dreams and Altira Macau – had recorded the smallest year-on-year decline in VIP GGR in November of the six Macau operators: down 33 percent versus a market-wide fall of 42 percent. The Macau government issues the data on the split between the mass market play and VIP baccarat gambling only on a quarterly basis.

"Galaxy and Sands China lost the most market share sequentially on VIP weakness and a relatively high base in October," added Sanford Bernstein, referring respectively to Macau casino operators Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Sands China Ltd.

Macau's casino GGR for November fell by 32.3 percent  year-on-year to approximately MOP16.43 billion, according to data released on December 1 by the city's regulator.

Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore of Wells Fargo Securities LLC said in a note on Thursday that according to its "preliminary checks on the ground" December was "off to a slow start… despite new supply".

They added: "Despite a lot of hype around resilient grind mass demand, we believe grind mass trends, as evidenced by slot demand, was down 6 percent year-on-year in November. This marked the 14th straight quarter of negative slot  growth."


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