Smoking ban blamed as casino revenues plummet in Macau

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They say the house always wins. Well, that might be the case, unless you’re in Macau and you like smoking. March 2015 saw casinos in the Chinese peninsula suffer their worst month since September 2012 – and experts say it is because of a ban on cigarettes.

Gaming revenues in the region are reportedly down 39.4 per cent year on year – and money made from punters has decreased every month for the past 10 months It comes after five years of monthly increases.

Industry analysts have put the slide down to a stark decline in the amount of tourists visiting from mainland China – coupled with a smoking ban introduced in October 2014.

Analyst Grant Govertsen and Felicity Chiang said: “While the headline decline will cause more concerns as to the health of Macau, we would argue that visitation trends have been fairly consistent for months now and that visitation to casinos been tracking negative for at least half a year.”

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