(Reuters) - Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau rose 10.3 percent in July from a year ago period, bolstered by demand from Chinese betters keen to play in the country’s only legal casino hub.
July marks two years of consecutive revenue gain in the former Portuguese colony after revenues plunged 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 on Wednesday revenues were up from the month of June, reaching 25.3 billion patacas ($3.14 billion) versus analyst expectations of 5-13 percent growth.
Growth in the high-roller VIP segment for casino operators has moderated over the past two months, in part due to heavy betting on the World Cup which ran from June 14 to July 15, said analysts
Macro factors including tighter Chinese credit and softening economic growth may also crimp demand from VIP players going forward.
While Macau’s VIP punters generate around 50 percent of overall revenues, the mass market is steadily growing and outpaced VIP growth in the second quarter for the first time since the start of 2017.
Casino operators are pushing to expand their offerings for mass market players, particularly in the premium mass segment where customers bet thousands of dollars per bet and come directly to the casino. VIP players are brought in by commission earning junket operators who act as middlemen.
Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Vyas Mohan