Macau, a former Portuguese colony, made US$38 billion (HK$294.9 billion) in gambling revenues in 2012. It is the only place where people can legally gamble at casinos in China.
Macau sees June gambling revenue rise by a fifth
Macau's gambling revenue rose by more than a fifth year on year last month, boosted by a steady inflow of mainland tourists.
Its casinos took in 28.3 billion patacas in June, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said yesterday.
With that, gaming revenue stood at 171.4 billion patacas in the first half of the year, up 15.3 per cent year on year.
About 70 per cent of Macau's gaming revenue comes from the high-rollers market, or VIP gamblers. Casino operators in Macau are making greater efforts at broadening the mass market, amid a downbeat outlook for the mainland economy. More than two-thirds of Macau's tourists come from the mainland.
Michael Paladino, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, said last month: "The volume of people around the border gate, the current expansion, and the cost of restaurants and shopping in the city reinforced our view that the mass market is poised to lead the growth in Macau over the next several years."
In the past two weeks, mainland banks have experienced a central bank-engineered cash squeeze after creating 7.5 trillion yuan of new credit in the first three months of this year. That surpassed total new credit for the whole of 2007, according to Fitch Ratings.
The People's Bank of China's liquidity squeeze sent interbank lending rates to record highs and also raised concerns over Macau's VIP segment.
Deutsche Bank said in a report last month: "Junkets said they had not felt any impact from the spike in Chinese interbank rates. While we don't expect junket liquidity to tighten, the transmission mechanism for lower VIP revenue via the demand side is likely."
The bank cut its forecast for fourth-quarter growth to 12 per cent from the earlier 16 per cent, and whole-year growth for next year to 8 per cent from 11 per cent.