Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gaming growth rates

A BT article today entitled...
"Gaming growth rates in Asia-Pac likely to moderate: S&P" by Grace Leong
says that in 2012:
- Singapore's net gaming revenue is expected to grow by 5-10% .
- Macau gross gaming revenue growth is 10-15 % .

The estimates were according to the analyst Joe Poon.
In the 1st 11 mths of 2011:
- Macau posted a 44 % jump in gross gaming revenues
- Singapore's net gaming revenues  soared 42 % to USD 5 b this year.

Regulatory uncertainties on  "junket approvals" and  "advertising" were cited as "dampers".

While Singapore's two IRs have exceeded performance expectations since their opening last year, several factors including regulatory uncertainty and projected slower growth in Singapore's economy could put a damper on local gaming growth.

Singapore's latest move to tighten advertising regulations to ensure the two casinos do not target locals, and expectations that the government may introduce more of such measures to tackle problem gambling, may crimp local gaming demand, the report said.

But the duopoly held by the two IRs until 2017 would also provide growth opportunities for them. And if the Casino Regulatory Authority were to approve junket operating licenses next year, Singapore's gaming growth rates would likely be higher than the current projected 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Amid credit tightening measures in China, the Macau market is expected to post stronger gaming revenue growth than Singapore next year because the opening of Sands Cotai Central, a 5,800 room casino development project starting next first quarter, will likely fuel demand and boost mass market growth.

Mr Poon said he believes bad debts aren't likely to have a significant impact on the credit profiles of gaming operators in Macau, as they have limited exposure to direct lending to VIP players.

'We expect more projects will start in the next few years in Cotai, but the city could face challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, labour shortages, and a cap on the number of gaming tables,' he said.

Elsewhere in the region, countries including Japan are likely to accelerate their plans to develop licensed integrated casino resorts to spur economic growth.

'We expect operators in the region, with their improving financial capacity, to aggressively bid for casino licenses and invest billion of dollars into gaming projects,' Mr Poon said.

'We consider gaming operators to be better positioned now than they were in 2008 to accommodate risks associated with investments in new gaming developments and any moderation in gaming demand,' he said.

He cited significantly improved cash flow from existing properties, 'resulting in a better balance between cash generating assets and assets under development'.

'As many of these assets move from the construction phase to stabilised levels of cash flow generation, they should provide operators with greater capacity to accommodate any unexpected moderation in gaming revenues or capital availability,' he said.

The report did not examine the effect of emerging gaming locations on SG; such as in Japan and the new Cotai strip in Macau.

However, B/Ss are expected to improve and be resilent...
 "As many of these assets move from the construction phase to stabilised levels of cash flow generation, they should provide operators with greater capacity to accommodate any unexpected moderation in gaming revenues or capital availability"

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