Macau gambling revenue up 13 percent in March

HONG KONG, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 2:53am EDT

HONG KONG, April 1 (Reuters) - Macau, the world's casino capital, raked in 35.5 billion patacas ($4.44 billion) in gambling revenues in March, boosted by robust demand from Chinese visitors keen to bet in the country's only legal casino hub.

Growth in Macau, a special administrative region like neighbouring Hong Kong, was up 13 percent in March, at the top end of analyst estimates of 10-13 percent.

A Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau earns the equivalent of Las Vegas's annual haul in less than two months. Annual revenues reached a record $45 billion in 2013, elevating the tiny territory high above rival gaming destinations.

($1 = 7.99 Macau patacas) (Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Matt Driskill)