Macau Casino Revenue Up 24% To $3.1bn In March

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has released the Chinese enclave’s casino gambling figures for March, revealing a 24% increase in revenue to 25 billion patacas (USD $3.1 billion) compared to a year earlier.
Helping to drive up Macau’s flourishing gambling industry is a booming Chinese economy reflected in an ever increasing number of visitors to the former Portuguese colony, which totalled 28 million in 2011 and is expected to double in the next few years.
According to a Macau statistics census, 89% of the tourists to Macau in 2011 came from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with Sterne analyst David Bain commenting:
“We believe China is emerging as a consumer domestic economy, which is beneficial for longer-term Macau growth.”
Last year, $33.5 billion of revenue was generated by the casinos with around 70% of that figure accounted for by VIP clients. However, some analysts have been sceptical as to future astronomical growth with some of the more bearish predicting  around 11% growth for the whole of 2012, compared to 42% in 2011.
Nevertheless, the first three months of this year has seen gambling revenue in Macau rise by 27%, with January up 28.3%,  February up 34.8% and now March up by 24%.
Located just 60km from Hong Kong, Macau’s growth has rocketed since the end of 2009 and currently generates five times the revenue of the Las Vegas Strip.
However, it is not all bad news for Las Vegas as American companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are fully invested in Macau. In fact, the Las Vegas Sands (Sheldon Adelson) was close to bankruptcy only three years ago until the company took a gamble on the Asian market.
Since then, Las Vegas Sands has had nine consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, with its share price hitting a three and a half year high on March 19th.

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