HONG KONG Feb 1 Gambling revenue in Macau rose 7.3 percent in January year-on-year, riding on the waves of Chinese punters keen to bet in the world's largest casino market.
January's revenue at 26.9 billion patacas ($3.4 billion) was slightly weaker than analysts' forecasts of 10-12 percent growth.
Macau, a former Portuguese colony until 1999, raked in $38 billion in annual gambling revenues last year. The tiny enclave, with a population of half a million, is the only place where Chinese people can legally gamble at casinos in the country.
Seasonally, Macau gambling revenue dips ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday period, which this year starts on February 10, and accelerates again once the holiday season begins.
(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)