(Bloomberg) -- Macau’s casino revenue in April grew for a ninth month as the return of high-stakes players to China’s sole gaming hub gained momentum.
Gross gaming receipts rose 16.3 percent to 20.2 billion patacas ($2.5 billion), according to data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Monday. That follows an 18.1 percent jump in March and compares with the median estimate for a 15 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts.
Macau’s gaming industry, which faced a two-year slump as high-stakes players stayed away amid China’s corruption crackdown, has found stability with three consecutive months of double-digit gains. The recovery has been boosted by a shift to attract casual gamblers and families as casinos including Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. opened new resorts. This quarter, revenue from VIP players surged as they returned to the tables.
Revenue from high rollers likely grew as much as 25 percent in March while earnings from casual gamblers grew about 14 percent, according to analyst Grant Govertsen with Union Gaming Group LLC.
The Bloomberg Intelligence index of Macau gaming shares increased 8.4 percent in April compared with a 2.1 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
“We have become incrementally more bullish with the sustainability of ongoing VIP trends over recent weeks,” Govertsen said before the release. “In the short term, VIP is going to be the biggest driver.”