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Growth in Macau’s gaming revenues slowed further in January, continuing a decline from November’s peak of double-digit growth.

Gross revenues from games of fortune last month grew 3.1 per cent year on year to 19.3bn patacas ($2.4bn), decelerating from a rise of 8 per cent in December.

That was the slowest annualised growth in gaming revenues since they exited contraction in August and appeared to bode ill for the gambling enclave’s nascent recovery at the year’s outset – even if it marked a major improvement from the 21.4 per cent fall seen in January 2015.

Still, January revenues reflected a fall of 11.7 per cent from last year’s peak of 21.8bn patacas in October, as well as a 2.8 per cent fall of 560m patacas from December’s level.

One potential reason for the back-to-back months of slowing growth might be that gamblers are on high alert following reports in December that Macau was about to halve the daily money withdrawal limit from ATMs in the gambling haven. Although this was revealed to not be the case, some players could have taken it as a sign Beijing was still concerned about capital flight and decided to steer clear for the time being.

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