Ma­cau casino rev­enue falls for 10th straight month

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Ma­cau’s casino rev­enue fell in March for the tenth straight month as China’s cor­rup­tion crack­down took a con­tin­u­ing toll on the city, fig­ures showed Wed­nes­day.

The city saw its sec­ond- worst monthly decline of 39 per­cent for March com­pared to the same month last year as Bei­jing en­cour­ages the semi-au­ton­o­mous ter­ri­tory to di­ver­sify from gam­bling and reins in high-rolling vis­i­tors from the Chi­nese main­land.

Gross rev­enue from gam­bling for March this year was 21.49 bil­lion pat­a­cas (US$2.69 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the for­mer Por­tuguese colony’s Gam­ing In­spec­tion and Co­or­di­na­tion Bureau.

The re­sults were in line with an es­ti­mated 40 per­cent drop by nine an­a­lysts polled by Bloomberg News.

Rev­enue for the first quar­ter fell 36.6 per­cent to 64.78 bil­lion pat­a­cas.

“We still ex­pect the en­tire year to show neg­a­tive growth, ( with) ev­ery month for the year to be neg­a­tive,” CLSA gam­ing an­a­lyst Aaron Fischer told AFP.

“We’ve be­come more cau­tious on the sec­tor be­cause we’re see­ing big­ger de­clines in VIP (gam­blers),” Fischer said.

“The anti- cor­rup­tion mea­sures in China have a neg­a­tive im­pact on sen­ti­ment and peo­ple’s de­sire to travel to Ma­cau.”

Fischer said he ex­pects the sec­ond half to show an im­prove­ment helped by the open­ing of a new ho­tel and an ex­pan­sion to an ex­ist­ing casino re­sort.

Casino rev­enue for the city plunged a record 49 per­cent year-on-year in Fe­bru­ary.

The fall has mostly been at­trib­uted to a cor­rup­tion crack­down spear­headed by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping which has dented the VIP gam­ing mar­ket.

Xi stressed dur­ing a De­cem­ber visit that the ter­ri­tory’s econ­omy must di­ver­sify away from casi­nos.

Ma­cau, the only part of China where casino gam­bling is legal, over­took Las Ve­gas as the world’s casino cap­i­tal in terms of rev­enue af­ter the sec­tor was opened up to for­eign com­pe­ti­tion in 2002. Its gam­bling rev­enues are still mul­ti­ple times that of the Amer­i­can city.

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