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Macau Casinos Down Once Again While Nevada Casinos Begin to Thrive

  • Revenues in Macau decline for a 20th straight month, while a resurgence is taking place for casinos in Nevada.

Concerns continue for casino operators in Macau as January marked the 20th straight month that gross gaming revenues (GGR) declined when compared to the same month a year ago.

According to a report released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macau casinos recorded MOP 18.67 billion ($2.33 billion) in GGR during Jan. 2016, representing a 21.4-percent decline from the MOP 23.75 billion ($2.97 billion) in GGR in Jan. 2015.

This is on top of the fact that last year declined by a high 34.3 percent when compared to the year before with casinos recognizing MOP 230.84 billion ($28.9 billion) in 2015 GGR and a more robust MOP 351.5 billion ($44 billion) in 2014 GGR.

Despite the record-breaking decline taking place in Macau, according to GGR Asia there may be reason for optimism as leading investment analysts were expecting a larger 23-percent decline in January. Additionally, online poker opponent and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson also insinuated during a recent conference call with investment analysts that the monthly declines may end in the near future, stating that, "We do see stabilization in gaming revenue trends [in Macau]."

However, we may need to wait a little longer before stabilization occurs for casinos in Macau. Industry analysts are not forecasting a rosy February, believing that lower GGR is likely with the Chinese New Year celebrations commencing on Feb. 7.

Nevada Casinos On the Rise

While historic declines are taking place in Macau, things are looking up for casinos in the state of Nevada, specifically in the gaming capital of the world, Las Vegas.

According to a report published last week by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, gaming win in Dec. 2015 ($982.1 million) increased by 3.3 percent when compared to Dec. 2014 ($950.6 million).

As one would expect, Las Vegas Strip casinos contributed the lion's share of this figure by realizing $600.8 million of the state's gaming win. This represents a substantial 8.2-percent increase from the Dec. 2014 gaming win of $555.2 million.

Iconic casinos in downtown Las Vegas remained fairly stable year over year, recording a 1.1-percent increase in gaming win from $43 million in Dec. 2014 to $43.5 million. This doesn't tell the entire story, as the gaming win for this region in the last half of 2015 increased by 8.0 percent from $250.1 million in the last half of 2014 to $270 million.

Investors have reacted to this growth, as according to Yahoo! Finance the stock price of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD), the operator of three downtown casinos, increased by a huge 32.9 percent in the past year.

Downtown Las Vegas wasn't the only area in Nevada to experience growth in the latter half of 2015, with total state gaming win increasing by 1.2 percent from $5.496 billion in 2014 to $5.562 billion. However, Las Vegas Strip casinos only experience a minor growth (0.6 percent) during the period when comparing the second half of 2015 gaming win of $3.187 billion to the $3.168 billion recorded from July to Dec. 2014.

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