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Macao's gaming revenue growth slowdown arouses fears of mass lay-offs

24 September 2008

MACAO -- As reported by Xinhua: "As expectations that Macao's gaming sector will experience a single-digit year-on-year growth in September 2008, the Special Administration Region, the only place in China where gambling is legal, started to feel the pinch after a long lasting boom since opening its gaming sector to international investments in 2002.

"The city's gross gaming revenue for the first half of this month only reached 3.6 billion patacas (450 million U.S. dollars), and the whole month is expected to reach between 7.2 billion patacas (900 million dollars) and 7.5 billion patacas (938 million dollars), according to Portugal's Lusa News Agency, which quoted sources from gaming operators.

"That means gaming revenues for September will grow by between less than one percent and around five percent, compared with the same period last year. The drop in the gaming revenue growth was largely blamed on the global economic downturn while China's tightening of its visas arrangement which allow mainlanders to travel to the SAR was also blamed as one of the factors on the decrease of game-doers, a source linked to one of Macao's casinos told Lusa.

"The slowdown of the sector's development has caused many speculations that it will trigger a domino effect in the sector, forcing several small-scale casinos to be closed one after another and leading to mass lay-offs among dealers and other casino staff..."

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