Macau's gambling revenues dive 72.5% in Oct

A general view shows casinos and hotels following the coronavirus outbreak in Macau, China February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Gambling revenue in Macau plunged 72.5% in October year-on-year, extending the steep coronavirus-driven declines of recent months but at a slower pace as visitors to the world’s biggest casino hub from mainland China picked up slightly.

October’s figure of 7.3 billion patacas ($914 million) released by Macau’s government on Sunday, was in line with analyst expectations of a drop of around 72%-74%.

Gaming revenues have slumped since February due to coronavirus travel restrictions with the last six months posting an over 90% drop.

China resumed Macau tourist visas from Sept. 23 but demand has remained tepid due to ongoing coronavirus regulations and muted sentiment from VIP high rollers to gamble.

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

($1 = 7.9830 patacas)

Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Sam Holmes