The March revenue decline is the second worst on record for Macau, the Reuters news agency reported, noting that revenue fell to 21.5 billion patacas (GBP 2 billion or US$2.7 billion) from 35.5 billion patacas a year earlier. The decline was slightly below the predictions of analysts who expected the worst.
Those analysts are taking a gloomy view on the short term prospects, predicting a continued slump in demand at the top end of the market, with high rollers keeping a low profile amid a spate of investigations of officials and executives for graft.
Long term views are more optimistic due to travel infrastructure improvements in the region and the possibility of more visitor, as few as 2 percent of China’s 1.4 billion citizens have visited the gambling island just offshore from Hong Kong.
Gambling taxes and levies brings in 80 percent of the island government’s revenue, but officials have called for more diversification of the economy to make it less reliant on the casinos (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Land casino company shares have fallen in value by as much as 22 percent since the start of 2015.