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Macau gaming revenue slips on weak Chinese economy, geopolitics
[HONG KONG] Macau gaming revenue showed further weakness in October as the world's largest gambling hub was hurt by China's economic slowdown and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that have brought the city to a near-halt.
Gross gaming revenue for Macau casino operators was 26.4 billion patacas (S$4.44 billion) for October, down 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau. That was roughly in line with the median analyst estimate of a 4 per cent decline, after revenue touched the lowest level in a year in September.
The latest numbers show the challenge before casino operators as growth in the mass segment failed to make up for the slack in the volume of high rollers, who are staying away.
October's results got limited help from the traditional Golden Week holiday in China, which started on Oct 1 and is known for massive travel spending by mainland tourists. But the 11 per cent gain over the holiday period was markedly lower than last year's 19 per cent rise.
Casino operators were hoping for a strong second half for gaming revenue in Macau, but performance has instead been pressured by myriad negative factors including the trade war, a weakening yuan, social unrest in Hong Kong and regulatory uncertainty over high-roller junkets.
A Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino operators rose 9.9 per cent in October, though the gauge is still down 17 per cent from a high at the end of April.