In Macau, February reportedly saw monthly aggregated gross gaming revenues significantly exceed previous predictions from several industry analysts and record a seventh consecutive increase to $2.88 billion.

According to a Wednesday report from GGRAsia citing official figures from the Gaming Inspection And Coordination Bureau regulator, the most recent tally for the 28-day period represented a rise of 17.8% year-on-year and took the figure for takings from the former Portuguese enclave’s over 30 casinos to its highest since January 2015 when aggregated gross gaming revenues hit $2.98 billion.

After suffering through 26 months of year-on-year declines, Macau’s casinos saw their aggregated gross gaming revenues for August improve by 1.1% year-on-year while a 7.4% swell was reported for September before October’s figure went up by 8.8%. These were all surpassed in November by a 14.4% boost to approximately $2.4 billion before December’s figure grew by 8% to hit almost $2.5 billion. For January, takings reached just over $2.4 billion, which was an advance of 3.1%, and led to the government raking in some $913.26 million in taxes.

GGRAsia explained that several industry analysts had previously predicted that Macau’s aggregated gross gaming revenues for February would improve by 5% to 9% year-on-year while the figure through the first two months of the year now stands at $5.28 billion, which is an expansion of 10.6% from 2016.

Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Yang Xie from brokerage Sanford C Bernstein Limited reportedly stated that February’s rise followed “strongly on what was a disappointing January” and was due to the robust performance of the VIP sector “somewhat helped by high hold”.

“VIP growth may have likely shown mid-20% growth year-on-year,” read a statement from the analysts. “The last week of the month was helped by several junket marketing events including SunCity Group’s anniversary party, which brought in significant increase in VIP players and agents.”

November saw Fernando Chui Sai On, Chief Executive for Macau, use his annual policy address to predict that total gross gaming revenues for 2017 would hit just over $25 billion, which was the same as that forecast for the previous year. GGRAsia reported that the latter estimate proved to be approximately 12% lower than the actual yearly figure, which eventually finished up at $27.91 billion.