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December 18, 2017

Macau casinos post 11th month of gains on VIP resurgence


July 1, 2017

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Revenues in the world’s biggest casino hub of Macau jumped nearly 30 percent in June, posting an 11-month winning streak, as demand from high-roller VIPs accelerated despite a corruption crackdown.

Monthly gambling revenue in the Chinese special administrative region rose 25.9 percent to 20 billion patacas ($2.49 billion), government data showed on Saturday. Analysts were expecting growth of 23 percent to 33 percent for Macau, the only place in the country where gambling is legal.

Revenues have rebounded after a more than 2-year tumble triggered by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s attack on corruption, with a revival in appetite from high-rollers and mass gamblers.

Operators are cautious about the resurgence of VIP revenue, which is highly volatile compared to the more stable flows from mass market customers.

VIP punters are typically brought in by middlemen known as junket companies. While the VIP sector contributes just over half of Macau’s total casino revenues, junket patrons have been subject to greater legal scrutiny due to concerns over money laundering.

(Reporting by Farah Master, Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Stephen Coates)

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