Macau saw its casino earnings decline over the Lunar New Year holiday, a less than auspicious start to the Year of the Goat.
According to Barclays, average daily table revenues in the world’s gambling hub reached HK$510.5 million (US$66 million) for the week to Feb. 23, a period covering five days of the Spring Festival, compared with HK$541 million the week before, the Financial Times reported.
The figures were “much weaker than we had anticipated”, the newspaper quoted the bank’s gaming analst Phoebe Tse as saying.
Analysts at Daiwa expect revenues for the sector to hit a five-year low this quarter.
Shares in Wynn Macau and Melco Crown Entertainment dropped almost 6 percent on Wednesday, while Sands China fell 5.6 percent and Galaxy Entertainment Group was down 4.9 percent, the report said.
Casino operators in the former Portuguese colony posted their first full-year decline in earnings in 2014 as Beijing stepped up its campaign against corruption and lavish lifestyles.
Gaming revenues fell 2.6 percent to 351 billion patacas (US$44 billion) in 2014, ending an 11-year winning streak.
In January this year, revenues fell for an eighth consecutive month from a year earlier, and are expected to decline further until the second half of the year.
However, the number of mainland visitors continued to swell, rising 14 percent last year.
Meanwhile, casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd. saw its 2014 net profit fall 12.7 percent to HK$6.73 billion from a year earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Gaming revenue dropped 8.8 percent to HK$79.3 billion for the year. Revenue from VIP tables fell 17.3 percent while income from mass market tables grew 8.9 percent.
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