Macau gambling revenue plunges by record 30.4% in December for first annual decline

Croupiers at gaming tables inside a casino at Sands Cotai Central in Macau in this 2012 file photo. Gambling revenue inf Macau, the world's biggest gambling hub, fell 2.6 per cent last year. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Croupiers at gaming tables inside a casino at Sands Cotai Central in Macau in this 2012 file photo. Gambling revenue inf Macau, the world's biggest gambling hub, fell 2.6 per cent last year. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau, the world's biggest gambling hub, fell 2.6 per cent to 351.5 billion patacas (S$58.4 billion) in 2014, the territory's first annual decline since casinos were liberalised there in 2001.

This came as revenue plunged a record 30.4 per cent in December from a year earlier to 23.3 billion patacas, marking the seventh consecutive monthly decline, data released on Friday by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed.

The southern territory, a special administrative region like neighbouring Hong Kong, is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal.