December 18, 2015 / 5:03 AM / 4 years ago

Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson says Macau gaming market near bottom, sees 2016 turnaround

Gambling giant Las Vegas Sands Corp's Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson smiles during a news conference in Macau, China December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

MACAU (Reuters) - Gambling giant Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said on Friday that a long-term slide in Macau’s gaming market is close to bottoming out, with a turnaround in sight in 2016 after 18 consecutive months of declines.

“We are at the beginning of the shift in the cycle from a recession-type economy to a bottoming out, and I think the economy and Macau’s fortunes will turn around,” said Adelson, head of the world’s biggest gambling company by market value.

The 82-year-old U.S. billionaire was speaking at a news conference called to mark the formal opening of his new St Regis hotel in the world’s largest gambling hub.

Revenue in Macau, the only place in China were casino gambling is legal, has long been squeezed by a combination of slowing economic growth and a broader crackdown on corruption targeting illicit money outflows.

Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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