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As you already know, the market grew 25.4% YoY to a new record GGR of US$3.9 billion or HK$30.4 billion.  Overall, a great month – not quite as good as the headline 25% growth because of high hold.  However, we had heard all along that hold was running high so investors shouldn’t be surprised.

Here are our main takeaways:

MACAU

  • As we thought, VIP hold definitely played a role in the March strength.  We estimate that including direct play, VIP hold was 3.15% versus a normalized 2.96% and 2.79% in March of 2012.
  • Had VIP hold been normal this March, YoY growth in GGR would’ve been 20%.  With normal VIP hold in both periods, GGR growth was 16%.
  • MGM and MPEL were the only operators to hold low in VIP during the month
  • Mass market growth continued its blistering pace, up 30% YoY, consistent with the last 9 months
  • VIP volume growth grew its fastest in almost a year at 10%, surprising since hold was so high which usually dampens play
  • Overall market VIP hold continues to tick up over time – obviously a positive for concessionaires
  • Slots were disappointing at only 7% growth

LVS

  • Another above trend Mass market share month
  • Overall market share was in-line with recent trend
  • VIP Hold was higher than normal in both March of 2013 and 2012 but even higher in March 2013
  • On a YoY basis, LVS was the top dog with GGR growth of 59%

MPEL

  • MPEL actually held below normal in March 2013 and well below March of 2012
  • Despite the low hold, GGR increased 20% YoY
  • Mass was up a whopping 37%
  • VIP volume grew the most in a year and a half
  • Market share consistent with trend but Mass was above
  • Adjusted EBITDA in Q1 should handily beat estimates

WYNN

  • In terms of luck, Wynn was a clear standout with its highest VIP hold in a year and a half compared to its lowest over the same period
  • Despite a 15% YoY increase in GGR, VIP volume actually declined 22%, the highest one month decline in 4 years
  • Indeed, VIP volume share was its lowest ever
  • Mass was solid, up 20% as Mass share was slightly above recent trend

MGM

  • MGM got clocked on VIP with its lowest hold in over 3 years
  • Yet VIP revenue actually increased 8% on a 37% increase in volume
  • Mass grew a strong 33% YoY and Mass share ticked up considerably
  • Aside from low hold which drove a low market share, this was a strong month for MGM Macau

GALAXY

  • Galaxy held above normal and higher than last year
  • Mass growth was once again strong at 39% but below the trend of recent months
  • Mass share remained consistent with trend

SJM

  • Big jump in market share was solely driven by very high VIP hold
  • Mass market share fell to its lowest level ever at 25%