March 1,2016 : LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR MACAU?
Still in decline, but the numbers look up in February.
The Reuters news agency reports that the Chinese gambling island of Macau posted its best monthly gambling revenue performance since October last year Tuesday, boosted by an increase in tourist numbers over the Lunar New Year holiday.
The regulator reported that growth in gambling revenue dropped just 0.1 percent to 19.5 billion patacas ($2.4 billion)…better than analysts' expectations of a fall of 2-10 percent. Nevertheless, it was the 21st consecutive monthly fall, albeit the smallest decline in 20 months.
Visitor numbers increased in the first two months of the year, with the number of individual tourists from the mainland up 2.6 percent in January, and total mainland visitors up 4.5 percent over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
That's good news for an industry that is increasingly switching its strategy from depending on high rollers to attracting the mass market.
Before 2015, Macau's gambling industry relied heavily on wealthy VIPs, who accounted for over two thirds of total revenue, yet that portion has fallen to half amid the Chinese central government's anti-corruption drive.