Macau bounces back
Macau – 1 March 2017 –
Macau’s gambling revenue rose for a seventh month and hit a two-year high in February, in the strongest signal yet the casino hub was firmly on its path to recovery from a slump triggered by China’s anti-corruption campaign and slow economic growth.
Business has been bleak in the special administrative region belonging to China since Chinese President Xi Jinping rolled out a campaign against shows of wealth by public officials in 2014 – a move that effectively dried up the stream of VIP spenders from the mainland, Reuters reported.
But the opening of new resorts in the world’s biggest casino hub over the past few months has helped revive revenue by attracting casual gamblers as well as high-rollers, prompting analysts to call a bottom to Macau’s gaming industry slump.
In February, Macau raked in a revenue of 23 billion patacas (US$2.9 billion), up from 19.5 billion patacas a year ago and the highest since January 2015.
Macau’s revenues indicate the gambling industry is showing consistent growth, with the last week of February particularly strong, said Richard Huang, analyst at Nomura in Hong Kong.
“While it is hard to call the last week’s results a trend, the industry has showed clear signs of stabilization,” he said.
The casino hub is set to see more new resorts – owned by the 13 Holdings and MGM – come online this year, followed by SJM Holdings’ casino in 2018.
These come at a time when Macau is facing mounting competition from emerging Asian casino hubs, including Japan which legalised casinos in December.