Retail in Asia

In Markets

New Year boost for Macau gambling

Macau’s economy, which relies on the casino industry for over 80 percent of government revenues, has been hit by a decline in big-spending VIP gamblers as an anti-corruption campaign launched by Beijing in 2014 curbs conspicuous spending. Gambling revenues have languished at more than five-year lows.

Macau said gambling revenue dropped 0.1 percent to 19.5 billion patacas (US$2.4 billion), the 21st consecutive monthly fall but above analysts’ expectations of a fall of 2-10 percent.

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 weeklong Chinese New Year holiday in February, government data showed, a trend analyst said boded well for the industry.