June 2013 Macau gambling statistics–no sign of slowdown

Last week the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) posted on its website the total that casinos in the SAR won from gamblers during June 2013.  The figures, in millions of Macau patacas, are:

Monthly Gross Revenue from Games of Fortune in 2013 and 2012
Monthly Gross Revenue Accumulated Gross Revenue
2013 2012 Variance 2013 2012 Variance
Jan 26,864 25,040 +7.3% 26,864 25,040 +7.3%
Feb 27,084 24,286 +11.5% 53,948 49,325 +9.4%
Mar 31,336 24,989 +25.4% 85,284 74,314 +14.8%
Apr 28,305 25,003 +13.2% 113,589 99,317 +14.4%
May 29,589 26,078 +13.5% 143,178 125,395 +14.2%
Jun 28,269 23,334 +21.1% 171,447 148,729 +15.3%

Source: Macau DICJ

Of course, we have to be careful not to read too much into one month.  The situation is also complicated because the gambling market in the SAR is new enough that it’s difficult to know what the seasonal patterns in visitation may be–that is, whether June is usually a big month for gamblers or a weak one.  That factor is being covered up by the overall mad rush by increasing numbers of Chinese citizens to the baccarat tables.

In addition, we should note that the apparent acceleration in year-on-year revenue comparisons that we see in June is due to the effects of last year’s economic slowdown in the 2012 numbers–in advance of the November leadership change in the Communist Party–rather than a surge in revenue last month.

Still, the past four months have been the biggest in the Macau gaming market’s history.  June appears every bit as strong as the months that preceded it.  Reports I’ve read suggest that so far July is stronger than June.

This is good news.

That hasn’t helped the Macau gambling stocks, which have sold off in sympathy with the Shanghai Composite over the past six weeks or so.  Chinese stocks are falling on fears about the credit crunch I described yesterday.

The most attractive Macau gambling stocks right now, in my view, are Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China (I own Galaxy and LVS, Sands China’s US parent).  But I’m not in any rush to add to either position until I see more data on how the credit situation will unfold.  (There’s also the issue of a potential crackdown by Beijing on money laundering in Macau.  But I think this is a problem with the pre-SAR casinos and will have little effect on the companies invited into the market by the current Macau government.  In any event, in my view, stricter regulation would be another long-term plus for Macau’s development into an Asian Las Vegas.)

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