Macau gambling revenue drops again

By Edward Obeng
The Chinese region of Macau has seen a 21% year-on-year fall in its gambling revenue for January.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau data showed that revenue dropped for the 20th consecutive month to 18.7bn patacas ($2.33bn), in line with an 18-26% decline forecast by analysts.

An ongoing anti-corruption campaign has pushed VIP players away from casinos in Macau, while slow growth in China's economy has discouraged the mass-market segment.

The news comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which is expected to bring more mass market visitors to the area.

Casinos operated by major firms Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands reported stronger than expected revenues in the fourth quarter of last year, due to an increase in mass market gamblers, who amount to up to two-thirds of overall visitors.

Reuters references Billy Ng, analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as forecasting total revenue growth to remain flat this year, compared to 2015 when the figure dropped 34%.

Other analysts have forecast revenues ranging from a 10% fall to a 1% rise.

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