The profile of Macau’s baccarat market has changed greatly in the last few years, to the extent that the VIP and mass market tables are now contributing an almost equal share of the revenues. Ten years ago, the VIP tables contributed 80% of Macau’s baccarat revenues.

At the start of 2019 the smoking ban in Macau’s casinos was extended to the VIP gaming rooms. The VIP share in the quarter before the ban was 60% (Q4 18) but a year later, in Q4 19, it had fallen to just 51%.

In fact, in Q3 19 the mass market tables came within the width of a playing card of overtaking the VIP tables for revenues earned.

But not all of the apparent decline might be attributable to VIPs not playing because of the smoking ban. Prior to the VIP smoking ban, some mass market tables could have been categorised as ‘VIP’, so as to allow smoking at them. Now that the smoking ban applies across all categories of table, there is no incentive to do this. The ‘VIP’ mass tables could have been downgraded to ‘mass’ again and their respective revenues would also switch from the VIP column to the mass market column.