May 1 (Reuters) - Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau surged 28 percent in April and beat analyst expectations, helped by solid demand from Chinese betters keen to play in the country’s only legal casino hub, official data showed on Tuesday.
April marks the 21st month of consecutive rise with revenue gains in the former Portuguese colony tracking steadily upwards, after plunging to five-year lows due to slowing economic growth and a widespread crackdown on corruption starting in 2014.
Figures from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination bureau showed revenues rose 27.6 percent to 25.73 billion patacas ($3.18 billion) versus analyst expectations of an 18-22 percent growth.
However, revenues still remain far off the highs reached in 2014, hovering only around monthly tolls seen in 2012, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream showed. ($1 = 8.0210 patacas) (Reporting Julie Zhu; writing by Farah Master; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)