acau casino revenues have rocketed in recent years thanks to legions of mainland Chinese high-rollers. In 2011, revenue soared 42 % to us$ 33.5 billion, more than five times the amount earned on the Las Vegas Strip.
But growth has trailed off in recent months as China's economy slows. July's numbers were also hurt by Typhoon Vicente, the strongest storm to hit Hong Kong in 13 years. The typhoon temporarily halted ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau.
Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal. Since a four-decade casino monopoly ended in 2002, the city has been transformed from a sleepy and seedy former Portuguese colonial outpost into an Asian gambling powerhouse. But its fortunes have been highly dependent on wealthy Chinese gamblers.
Citing the slowdown in China, the world's second biggest economy, Fitch Ratings last month cut its Macau gambling revenue growth forecast for 2012 for a second time to 10-12 percent from 15 %.