HONG KONG, April 1 (Reuters) - Revenues from gambling in
Macau rose 18 percent in March, beating expectations and posting
an eighth consecutive monthly increase as wealthy gamblers took
their chances in China's only legal casino hub - the world's
Gambling revenue in the southern Chinese territory rose to
21.2 billion patacas ($2.6 billion), government data showed on
Saturday. Analysts were expecting growth of between 12 percent
and 16 percent.
Macau's gambling revenues have surged since second-half 2016
with the opening of new resorts helping to draw high rollers and
more casual gamblers.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's campaign against shows of
wealth by public officials in 2014 had dried up the stream of
VIP spenders from the mainland.
Analysts remain cautious on the sustainability of revenues
from the VIP market but have called a bottom to a slump that has
afflicted Macau for more than two years.
Overseas visitors are an increasingly common sight in Macau
which is trying to diversify an economic model that has depended
on mainland high rollers for more than a decade.
($1 = 7.9810 patacas)
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Writing by Farah Master;
Editing by Eric Meijer)