Macau’s mass gaming market appears to have come full circle with Wynn Macau Ltd revealing that mass table drop exceeded pre-COVID levels in 2Q23 and grew further through July.
According to comments made by Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings during the company’s Q2 earnings call on Thursday morning (Asia time), mass table drop for the quarter was 4% higher than during the same period in 2019, climbing to 120% of pre-COVID levels in July.
The performance of Wynn Macau’s mass gaming floors helped it generate Adjusted EBITDA of US$246 million in 2Q23, representing 72% of pre-COVID levels and by far its best result in three-and-a-half years. It could have been better, too, if not for low hold across the mass table segment – a fact Billings attributes to a lower number of visitor arrivals to Macau as well as recent renovations to the casino at peninsula property Wynn Macau.
“[The low mass hold] was most acute at Wynn Macau rather than [at Wynn Palace] and it’s a function of two things – volumes and normal course volatility,” Billings explained. “Volume inherently smoothes volatility so when you had tour groups and core mass and more bodies coming to Macau, the impact of volatility was inherently muted. That’s just not the case right now so I expect to continue seeing volatility.”
On the renovations at Wynn Macau, Billings added, “The renovations that took place were smack dab in the middle of the casino floor, so certainly there was a level of disruption. But I think the more macro point would be that a lot of the visitation that has come back to [Wynn] has come back in Cotai (Wynn Palace).
“If you think about a world where there are no longer any junkets and we’re holding market share, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to do on a combined basis but certainly we have work to do in terms of share downtown and the business will grow as that share does. Our focus is on driving share downtown and that’s how we think about the business going forward. That’s why we did those renovations in the first place.”
Despite the company’s hold-related issues, Wynn Macau said it held market share of 14.2% in Q2 – similar to pre-COVID levels – while retail sales were up 47% on the same period in 2019.
It has also foreshadowed capex spend of US$300 million to US$400 million through 2023 and 2024 under its concession commitments, albeit with that spend still in the “design and planning” process as it continues to discuss options with the Macau government.
Wynn Resorts CFO Julie Cameron-Doe said more than half of the company’s US$2 billion Macau commitments under its new 10-year concession was set aside for capex, with most of that to be “front-end loaded”.