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New travel restrictions may hamper Macau's gambling industry

Oct 23, 2009

HONG KONG - Macau casino revenue climbed 22.3% in the July-to-September period to a record 31.78 billion patacas ($3.81 billion), the city's Inspection and Coordination Bureau said Wednesday.

The quarterly results were in line with expectations, following August's record monthly revenue and indications of another strong month in September.

However, the outlook for the current quarter has dimmed a little after mainland Chinese officials last week tightened travel restrictions to the former Portuguese colony, a policy U-turn from a relaxation on travel restrictions unveiled in September.

According to reports of the new rule, which wasn't formally announced, travel is restricted to one visit every two months, a scaling-back from one visit per month.

The tightened travel restrictions were viewed by some analysts and casino executives as an attempt to cool growth in the city's gambling industry amid growing unease that the cash flooding into casinos could be siphoning off funds needed to spur China's domestic economy.

New travel restrictions may hamper Macau's gambling industry
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