Reports reveal that the world’s largest gambling market in Macau has grown by a meager 1.5 % in July. This has been the slowest rate of growth since the financial crisis in the year 2009. A tropical storm had led to reduced number of visitors to Macau, resulting in a subdued demand from Chinese gamblers.
Revenue for July was 24.58 billion patacas that is equivalent to $3.08 billion dollars. It is ahead of analyst expectations and little more than 23.3 billion patacas in the month of June, as per the Government data produced on Wednesday. Analysts had predicted July to face a flat growth or down by 1% on a year-on-year basis.
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Macau once boasted a turbo-charged gambling industry that has experienced a faltering demand ever since the super-rich VIPs felt the impact of a sluggish economy in China and the resultant credit difficulties.
Macau, situated at an hour’s distance from Hong Cong, reachable through a high-speed ferry, is the former Portuguese colony. It is the only place in China where gambling is permissible.
One of the harshest tropical storms that hit Hong Cong and Macau in a decade’s time is the Typhoon Vicente. It had struck in mid-July, resulting in halting of ferry services and loss of more than 700 million patacas for casinos at Macau. Heavy storms and floods in Beijing and in many areas of China have ill-affected the numbers of travelers in such regions.
Macau is considered to be a play on macro-economy of Macau. It was once the fastest growing economies in the world as the gaming revenue touching $33.5 billion – an amount that is 5 times that of Las Vegas.
Analysts have been revising the estimates on Macau gambling businesses. Growth rate of gambling revenue this year was estimated to touch 20% but recent estimates have put the count to less than 10%.
Fitch Ratings has reportedly revised its Macau industry revenue growth prediction for 2012 to 10-12%.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp.(NYSE:LVS) jumped 1.15% to $36.89, MGM Resorts International(NYSE:MGM) slid 1.26% to $9.40, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR)(NASDAQ:MPEL) lost 1% to $9.98 and Wynn Resorts, Limited(NASDAQ:WYNN) rose 1.23% to $94.90.