Casino gambling revenue and visitor spending continue to decline amid the global slowdown

Macau’s economy contracted for the third consecutive quarter, according to official data, as casino gambling revenue and visitor spending continued to decline amid the global slowdown.

A Dow Jones Newswire report cited figures from the government’s Statistics and Census Service showing the peninsula’s gross domestic product shrank 13.7 percent in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier, widening from the revised 11.9 percent contraction in the first quarter.

Macau’s economy contracted 12.8 percent in the first half in real terms.

Macau, the only city in China where casino gambling is legal, has been suffering from a sharp decline in gambling revenue due to the global downturn, while visa restrictions introduced by the Chinese government have cut the number of visitors from mainland China, the city's most important source of gamblers.

Gambling revenue in the second quarter fell 12 percent to 25.62 billion patacas (US$3.7 billion) from 29.18 billion patacas a year earlier, and was down 2.4 percent from 26.25 billion patacas in the first quarter. Total visitor spending excluding gambling expenses was down 21 percent.