Photo/Illutration A photo from December 2019 shows the district around the Ruins of Saint Paul’s in Macau. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Macau’s gambling revenues tumble 90 percent in September

HONG KONG--Gambling revenue in Macau plunged 90 percent in September year-on-year with only a modest rise in gamblers making a wager in the world’s biggest casino hub despite the resumption of tourist visas for visitors from mainland China.

September’s figure of 2.2 billion patacas ($275.59 million) released by Macau’s government on Thursday was lower than analyst expectations of a drop of around 85-86 percent.

Fears China is broadening a crackdown on offshore gambling has sparked a rush to withdraw billions of dollars in Macau, threatening a recovery in the coronavirus-stricken economy, executives say.

The withdrawals come as China resumed Macau tourist visas from Sept. 23, and executives warn that more arrivals could mean more cash being pulled out. Gaming revenues have slumped since February due to coronavirus travel restrictions.