Macau's strong growth in gambling revenues continued in September, although well off the record high set in August of $3.1 billion. A drop was expected, however, due to seasonal factors including a week-long national holiday.
Typhoon Nesat also impacted traffic to Macau casinos, making travel to the former Portuguese colony difficult from mainland China where the bulk of Macau gambling patrons come from.
While some analysts expect October to set another record for Macau, others see signs that a credit squeeze in China may impact the high roller gamblers that visit Macau to play baccarat and other games, with high rollers accounting for an estimated 70% of overall gaming revenues.
Stocks of Macau casinos have been hit hard in recent sessions, in part due to rumors of tightening credit as well as overall markets around the world seeing big losses due to the economic uncertainty in Europe and around the world.
US casino firms such as Las Vegas Sands, Wynn, and MGM have posted strong earnings through their Macau units Sands China, Wynn Macau, and MGM China.
Despite stellar earnings their stocks have also caught up in the recent selling, which saw most Macau casinos down 20-25% in trading on October 3 alone, with many now down 40-60% off their highs just a few months ago.
Macau is expected to generate a total of $34 billion in overall gambling revenues for 2011, now easily dwarfing Las Vegas which is expected to pull in about $6 billion.