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Dec 17, 2014

Xi’s visit to Macau deals cold deck to VIP gamblers

HONG KONG (Reuters) – As Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Macau this weekend for his first official visit in five years, the message from Beijing is clear: the world’s biggest gambling center cannot remain a one-industry town.

Xi’s pervasive anti-graft campaign contributed to a disastrous year for major casino companies, which have lost a combined $58 billion in market value over the past six months as VIPs stayed away.

Dec 11, 2014

Hong Kong police haul protesters away as camp site is dismantled

HONG KONG, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Hong Kong cleared large parts
of the main pro-democracy protest site on Thursday as police
hauled activists away one by one, marking an end to more than
two months of street demonstrations that have choked parts of
the Chinese-controlled city.

Groups of up to four police started arresting protesters at
the Admiralty site, next to government buildings and the Central
business area, hours after workers used wire cutters to remove
barricades and dismantle bamboo scaffolding.

Dec 9, 2014

Hong Kong protest sites to be cleared: court

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s High Court has ordered the main protest sites that have choked the financial city for more than two months to be cleared, building up to a final showdown between pro-democracy activists and authorities backed by Beijing.

A local bus company, which was granted an injunction against street blockades at the site in Admiralty, home to government offices and next to the main Central business district, has received an official clearance order from the High Court, according to notices posted in local papers on Tuesday.

Nov 30, 2014

Macau’s junket model breaks down as gamblers walk away

MACAU, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Junket operators that connect
China’s wealthy punters to Macau’s casinos are waiting as long
as a year for gamblers to repay billions of dollars of loans,
crippling the business model of an industry that sustains the
world’s biggest casino centre.

These businesses, which lend to high rollers and operate
private gambling rooms, normally collect within 30 days and
charge interest rates as high as 3 percent per month on overdue
balances, according to Macau-based junket consultant Tony Tong.

Nov 26, 2014

Hong Kong police start clearing activists from protest site

HONG KONG, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Riot police began clearing a
major pro-democracy protest site in Hong Kong on Wednesday,
following street clashes overnight, and scuffles broke out as
some protesters tried to resist attempts to force them off the
streets, Reuters witnesses said.

Hundreds of protesters remained on Nathan Road, at the heart
of the protest site in the gritty Mong Kok district, brandishing
yellow banners and chanting for “full democracy” in the former
British colony, but were pushed back by the large number of
police.

Nov 4, 2014

Macau October gaming revenues fall 23 percent, drop worst on record

HONG KONG (Reuters) – October was the worst month on record for casino revenues in the world’s biggest gambling hub Macau as China’s pervasive war on corruption, combined with fewer tourists and slowing economic growth, dampen the appetite to wager.

Gambling revenues for the month fell some 23 percent year-on-year, the sharpest drop since the former Portuguese colony started keeping records, government data showed on Tuesday.

Nov 4, 2014

Macau Oct gaming revenues fall 23 pct, drop worst on record

HONG KONG, Nov 4 (Reuters) – October was the worst month on
record for casino revenues in the world’s biggest gambling hub
Macau as China’s pervasive war on corruption, combined with
fewer tourists and slowing economic growth, dampen the appetite
to wager.

Gambling revenues for the month fell some 23 percent
year-on-year, the sharpest drop since the former Portuguese
colony started keeping records, government data showed on
Tuesday.

Nov 3, 2014

British banker charged with murder of two women in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A 29-year-old British banker appeared in a Hong Kong court on Monday charged with two counts of murder after police found the bodies of two women in his apartment, including one inside a suitcase on a balcony.

Rurik George Caton Jutting, looking stony-faced and unshaven and wearing a black T-shirt and dark-rimmed glasses, said he understood both charges. The brief hearing was adjourned until Nov. 10, without Jutting entering a plea.

Nov 2, 2014

Macau Oct gaming revenues set for worst drop on record

HONG KONG (Reuters) – October is set to be the worst month on record for casino revenues in the world’s biggest gambling hub Macau as China’s pervasive war on corruption, combined with fewer tourists and slowing economic growth, dampen the appetite to wager.

Gambling revenues for the month are expected to have fallen some 20-23 percent year-on-year, analysts say, the sharpest drop since the former Portuguese colony started keeping records.

Oct 24, 2014

Hong Kong protesters set for the long haul at self-sustaining village

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong protesters have created a self-sustaining village within a month of taking their call for democracy to the streets, setting up changing rooms, tents for hire, a study area, first-aid stations and even their own security patrols as they ready for the long haul.

What started out as hastily built barricades against police pepper spray and tear gas, relying mainly on cling film and umbrellas, has evolved into a fully fledged campus with carpeted stairs, water coolers, WiFi and gas-fueled generators supporting mobile phones, desk lamps and amplifiers.