Macau downswing continues

By David Cook
Macau casinos have suffered a 19.6% monthly decline in revenue for November, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has confirmed.

Revenue has fallen to 24.27 billion patacas ($3.06bn), making November the latest in a six-month decline in gaming revenue in the city, falling in line with analyst UBS’s prediction that the latest fall would be between 17% and 22%.

Macau is the only place in China where gambling, other than state-authorised lotteries, is legal, but is suffering its worst dip in revenue since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

The former Portuguese colony recorded its worst ever year-on-year drop of 23% in October – though October 2013 was the second-best month on record.

The decrease beat the previous record downswing of 17.1% in January 2009.

A lack of tourism is one factor that has led to the financial difficulty, as earlier this year the Chinese government started restricting access to Macau to people from Hong Kong, following pro-democracy protests in the south coast region.

It is now likely that Macau will post negative full-year revenue growth, unless significant growth is reported for December.

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