HONG KONG, July 1 Gambling revenue in Macau rose
21.1 percent in June year-on-year, buoyed by a steady flow of
wealthy mainland gamblers eager to place their bets in the
Chinese controlled casino hub.
June revenue stood at 28.3 billion patacas ($3.54 billion),
according to government data released on Monday. Analysts had
forecast June growth in the world's biggest gambling market, to
be up 18-21 percent.
Macau is the only place where Chinese people can legally
gamble at casinos in the country. Home to half a million people,
Macau depends on high spending VIP gamblers, or 'whales', who
spend 1 million yuan ($160,700) during their visit as well as
the fast growing base of 'mass market' Chinese visitors.
A Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau's gambling revenues
are closely twinned with China's economy, with over two thirds
of tourists coming from the mainland.
With China's economic growth widely expected to slow further
in the current quarter as exporters struggle with weak global
markets, the high end VIP segment - which accounts for 70
percent of gaming revenue - may face pressure, said analysts.
The number of mass market visitors continues to show solid
In the last two weeks of June, the People's Bank of China
(PBOC) allowed money market conditions to tighten and rates to
soar, sparking fears of a credit crunch that roiled local and
Macau stocks plunged along with the broader Hang Seng Index
which has fallen 6.7 percent for the quarter.
The PBOC has since moved to quell fears the squeeze could
spin out of control but made it clear that cash conditions were
being tightened and lenders should improve money management and