Analysts were expecting weak numbers from Macau for February, but not as bad as those released Monday by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Instead of a 45 percent decline, revenues plummeted 48.6 percent – the worst on record.
Revenue fell to 19.5 billion patacas ($2.44 billion), from 38 billion patacas a year earlier, a consequence attributed to the fierce Chinese government clampdown on corruption, and a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
The Reuters news agency reports that February’s dismal results were the ninth consecutive monthly fall in Macau gambling revenue.
In related news, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that mainland police in the Hunan province have detained 19 people after busting a cross-border gang running an Internet gambling operation.
A police spokesman told the agency that the gang operated the “Shenbo Sun City” website using overseas servers, and made a profit of 1.4 billion yuan ($223 million) between May 2013 and October 2014.
The investigation has so far uncovered over a thousand bank accounts containing only a fraction of the profits at 200 million yuan, which have been frozen as enquiries continue.