Macau gambling revenue plunges 33 percent

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HONG KONG – Gambling revenue in Macau fell 33 percent year-on-year in September, in line with forecasts but still near five-year lows as wealthy gamblers continued to stay away from the Chinese casino hub.

Macau is the only place where casino gambling is legal in China and VIP gamers, which account for about half of revenues, have been staying away, deterred by Beijing’s widespread crackdown on corruption which has also targeted the illicit outflow of money from the country.

September’s decline is the 16th monthly drop in a row. Revenues fell to 17.13 billion patacas (S$3.01 billion) from 25.56 billion patacas a year earlier and down from 18.6 billion patacas in August, according to data released by the Macau government.

Analysts were expecting a decline of around 32-34 percent.