Corruption crackdown adds to Macau woe as gambling slumps

Adam Hignett
Macau’s authorities, well aware of their dependence on gambling, are pushing to diversify
The ongoing slump afflicting Macau’s gaming industry shows no sign of abating after figures released yesterday revealed a 37 per cent plunge in year-on-year revenues for May.

The decline represents the twelfth consecutive month of year-on-year falls after Macau’s Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau said revenues for the period fell to $2.6bn (£1.7bn).

Macau, which only ceased to be a Portuguese colony in 1999, is the only city in China where casinos are legally allowed to operate. However, a crackdown on corruption by the Communist party has hit revenues at the city’s resorts hard as high-rollers have been deterred from gambling in public.

The slowdown comes despite casino operators ploughing on with more than $20bn of investment in new resorts and infrastructure. Macau is particularly susceptible to the slow down as it depends on the industry for 80 per cent of revenue.

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