Macau gambling revenue posts first decline in more than four years

HONG KONG, July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 1:04am EDT

HONG KONG, July 1 (Reuters) - Gambling revenue in Macau fell 3.7 percent in June on an annual basis, the first decline in more than four years, with analysts saying the soccer World Cup had diverted gamblers and their hefty bets away from the world's largest casino hub.

The southern Chinese territory of Macau, a special administrative region, like neighbouring Hong Kong, is the only place in the country casino gambling is legal.

Gambling revenue from Macau's 35 casinos fell to 27.2 billion patacas in June ($3.4 billion) from 28.3 billion patacas a year earlier according to data released by the Macau government on Tuesday. Analysts were expecting a drop of between 4-6 percent.

($1 = 7.9860 Macau patacas) (Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Matt Driskill and Miral Fahmy)

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