Aug 02, 2016

    Macau's gambling revenue falls 26th month in a row


    MACAU posted a drop

    in gambling revenue

    last month, stretching declines for a 26th straight month, as wealthy gamblers continued to steer clear of the world's biggest casino hub amid an anti-corruption campaign by Beijing.

    Gambling revenue in the southern Chinese territory fell 4.5 per cent from a

    year ago to US$2.2 billion (S$3 billion) last month, government data showed yesterday.

    In June, revenue had dipped by 8.5 per cent.

    Macau, a former Portuguese colony, is highly dependent on gambling with revenues from six licensed operators accounting for over 80 per cent of government tax revenues.

    But revenues have plunged with China clamping down on corruption, targeting conspicuous spending by public officials. Slowing economic growth on the mainland - home to the majority of customers -

    has also hurt business.

    Revenue has since hit five-year lows.

    However, Macau's top leader, Fernando Chui,

    has said he expects the gambling hub to post positive growth next year.

    Macau is set to open

    two multi-billion-dollar resorts over the next two months, with industry watchers hoping this can boost market sentiment.

    Executives from casino firms Sands China and Wynn Macau said in last week's earnings calls that growth had picked up considerably over the past month due to stronger visitation and spending in the mass-market segment.

    Morgan Stanley in a

    July 27 note said overnight visitor growth has been increasing, with players located on the developing Vegas-style Cotai strip outperforming.