Gamblers are turning away from casinos and toward soccer fields, at least this month.
Macau’s monthly casino revenue dropped 3.7 percent to $3.4 billion (27 billion patacas) in June, its first drop in five years, as high-rolling gamblers turned their attention to the World Cup.
Its last dip was in 2009, when it fell 17 percent, according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau of Macau.
“We expect gross gaming revenue growth to return to positive in the second half of 2014 after World Cup in June and July,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Billy Ng wrote in a Tuesday report, adding that revenue will likely rebound next month, according to Bloomberg.
The territory of Macau, a special administration region like Hong Kong, is the only place in China where casinos are legal and relies on a steady stream of high-rolling clients to keep business going.
“June month-to-date average daily table revenue at [$109 million] remained much lower than the [$125 million] a day seen in May, which we believe is due to the continued weakening VIP volume trends with potentially some impact from the World Cup,” Barclays gaming analyst Phoebe Tse said to the South China Morning Post.
On June 18, authorities arrested 22 people for an illicit soccer betting ring worth more than $645 million in just a week, according to Reuters.