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Macau Gambling Revenue Growth Slows as High Rollers Avoid Crowds

Macau’s become a playground for families and tourists -- and that appears to be a turn-off for high-rolling gamblers during holidays.

Macau’s gambling receipts growth climbed 5.7 percent in February, the slowest pace since January 2017, according to data from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Thursday. That was weaker than the median estimate for a 9 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey.

The gambling data captured a slow start in the first few days of the Chinese New Year, which started Feb. 15, with high-stakes players staying away from the world’s biggest gaming hub, analysts said.

Holiday Blues

Growth in Macau gaming drops to slowest pace in a year

Source: Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau

The Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau casino stocks reversed an earlier gain after the data release. SJM Holdings Ltd. and Sands China Ltd. dropped more than 3 percent intraday in Hong Kong Thursday, a stepper fall than the benchmark Hang Seng index.

Still, the lackluster Chinese New Year performance won’t change investors’ positive view of Macau in the long term, with the territory expected to benefit from China’s growing consumption and leisure demand, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst DS Kim wrote in an earlier note.

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