One of the most striking features of the gaming floor at the impressive Galaxy Macau when GBGC visited last year was the amount of space devoted to the premium mass tables. But the numbers for 2013 has shown that it was a very shrewd move by the casino operator.
In the third quarter of 2013 revenues from VIP baccarat in Macau’s casino actually fell very marginally (0.4%) compared to the second quarter. Revenues from mass baccarat, however, rose 15% over the same period to MOP 23.8 billion (US% 2.9 billion).
This performance actually confirms a longer term trend in Macau’s baccarat scene. Looking back three years and comparing Q3 2013 with Q3 2010, VIP baccarat is up 69%, but mass market baccarat is up an even more impressive 168%.
As a result, mass market baccarat revenues are making up an ever more important slice of a casino’s revenues. In Q2 2011 mass market baccarat revenues made up 19% of the total baccarat revenues but have climbed steadily since then and by Q3 2013 accounted for almost 30%.
However much the Chinese love to gamble, there are only so many people who have the wealth to bet at the VIP level. So a strategy of expanding the premium mass sector is a way of ensuring growth that is less volatile in nature, particularly as the various new transport links (high speed rail, road bridges) will make it easier for more of the mass population to reach Macau’s gaming tables.