Macau’s casinos generated 27.21 billion patacas (US$3.41 billion) in revenue in June, down 3.7 percent from a year earlier, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday, citing data from Macau’s gaming bureau.
The dip, which was smaller than the projected fall of 4 percent, marked the first monthly drop since 2009.
Industry insiders attributed the drop mainly to the World Cup, which kicked off on June 12 in Brazil. The soccer frenzy is said to have affected casinos’ VIP business in recent weeks.
The industry can, however, take comfort from the fact that gaming revenue in the first half of 2014 as a whole saw double-digit growth.
In the six months to June, gaming revenue in the former Portuguese colony was up 12.6 percent from a year earlier at 193.08 billion patacas.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which had warned that the VIP business could suffer a 20 percent decline during the World Cup, believes gaming revenue will return to the growth track after the soccer carnival ends on July 13.
It expects gaming revenue in July to rise 2 percent year-on-year to 30 billion patacas. If that happens, it will mark the first time for Macau gaming industry to achieve such figure for that month.
The Macau government, meanwhile, on Tuesday began shortening the stay period for passengers holding Chinese passports. First timers are allowed to stay for five days, compared to seven days previously.
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