Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

Macau Casino Revenue Maintains Growth Momentum as Bettors Return

Macau’s casino revenue growth in March accelerated at the fastest pace in eight months, as both high rollers and leisure gamblers return to the world’s largest gaming hub.

Gross gaming receipts rose 18.1 percent to 21.2 billion patacas ($2.65 billion), according to data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Saturday. That follows a 17.8 percent jump in February and compares with the median estimate for a 15 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts.

The gaming recovery is gathering momentum as revenue from both high-stakes VIP and leisure gamblers bounces back in Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal, after a two-year slump amid a crackdown on corruption. The Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau gaming shares increased 11.1% in March compared with a 1.6 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

There are “limited negative catalysts” in the next three to six months, Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. analysts Jamie Soo and Adrian Chan said in a note on March 29. They said first-quarter earnings at Macau casino operators could throw a “positive surprise,” with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization gaining more than 20 percent from a year earlier.

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