Fears that a global slowdown would hit gaming revenue in Macau look premature for the moment as the territory reported another huge increase for the month of August.
Gambling revenue rose to 24.77 billion patacas (US$3.09 billion) last month, up 57 percent from 15.77 billion patacas last year, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reports.
The stunning growth rate was reported during a month where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock market index dropped 8.5 percent, its worst performance since 2001. Market turmoil combined with slowing rates of growth of certain luxury item purchases on the mainland has raised the specter of negative impacts on Macau’s frothy VIP segment going forward.
“The factors driving (the high-rollers segment) don’t seem to have been impacted yet by recent developments,” Philip Tulk, Director, Head of Asian Conglomerates and Gaming Research at The Royal Bank of Scotland, told the Wall Street Journal. Tulk placed revenue growth at 45 percent for 2011, with growth rates declining to 18 percent next year and 16 percent for 2013, the lower figures resulting from tougher comps rather than systemic economic weakness.