Macau posts first ever annual drop

By David Cook
Macau’s casino industry has suffered an annual decline in gross gambling revenue for 2014, the first time a yearly decrease has been reported since records began in 2002.

A 2.6% drop to 351.5bn patacas ($44bn) was the final outcome, following seven consecutive months of revenue decline in the Chinese region.

The city has also recorded its worst ever monthly revenue, with the decrease in December reaching 30.4% year-on-year to 23.29 bn patacas ($2.91bn).

That figure has beaten the previous record year-on-year drop of 23% that was recorded in October last year.

The decline has been put down to a number of factors including a lack of tourism in the city since the Chinese government began restricting access to Macau for people from Hong Kong, as well as a lack of VIP gambling revenue, which fell by 40% year-on-year in December.

Analysts believe that Macau's decline is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2015.

Grant Govertsen, Union Gaming Group analyst, said: “All-in we would expect first quarter 2015 gross gaming revenue to decline in the low-to-mid 20 percent range. This forecast largely assumes that there is no material change in either mass-market or VIP trends.”

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