MACAU POSITIVE FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE MONTH
Results for September are better than expected .
Statistics on Macau gambling revenues in September were released Saturday by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, and show a year-on-year increase for the second month running.
The Reuters news agency reports that the Asian gambling hub posted a better than expected 7.4 percent rise – the second this year after over two years of steady decline following a slowdown in the Chinese economy and a strict anti-corruption drive by the central government.
The report notes that multi-billion dollar land casino openings by Sands China Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd helped attract VIP customers, encouraging a recovery from a period in which revenues have fallen to five-year lows but turned positive in August and September this year.
Gambling revenue in September 2016 was 18.4 billion patacas (US$2.3 billion), but several analysts remain cautious on how sustainable the improvement may be, noting that revenue from mass market players has failed to grow significantly, and new increases were from low-income VIP players.
To reduce reliance on high-rollers, the national and Macau governments have been adamant that the island should diversify into general leisure and tourism.
Overnight visitors have grown since August due to operators attracting customers with cheaper hotel rooms and promotions, but individual spending is muted, Reuters reports.
Analysts also point to infrastructure bottlenecks which hinder larger visitation to Macaus gambling attractions by mainland Chinese punters.
Year to date numbers are still down year-on-year by 9.1 percent.