Macau Casinos Revenue Up 18.5% To $4.2bn In DecemberJanuary 2, 2014 1:21 pm
The tiny Chinese gambling resort of Macau generated 33.5 billion patacas ($4.19 billion) in revenue for December, an improvement of 18.5% compared to the same month in 2012. The impressive result was ahead of analysts’ expectations which had ranged from between 13% and 17%.
Overall, Macau’s six operators which run around three dozen casinos in the former Portuguese colony produced a combined gross gaming revenue of 360.8 billion patacas ($45 billion) for the whole of 2013, up 18.6% from the year before. Not surprisingly, Macau’s Hong Kong-listed gaming stocks soared by a massive 42% to 132% throughout last year, far surpassing the 3% growth recorded by the Hang Seng Index.
Looking ahead to 2014, gaming analysts are predicting slightly lower growth rates for Macau of between 10% and 14%, primarily because there are not expected to be any new casino openings until the following year, meaning no additional gaming capacity to keep up with growth. Nevertheless, as China-based analyst Grant Govertsen at Union Gaming Group, explains:
“It’s going to be another strong year in 2014, while the growth rate is likely to be in mid-teens. In absolute terms, it’s going to be magnificent growth because of the improved rail connection and infrastructure, as well as the addition of the Chimelong theme park on the neighboring Hengqin island.”
Consequently, although some analyst now believe Macau’s gaming stocks may have become a bit pricey, few see Macau as anything but a positive investment, and as Macquarie Securities Group stated in its latest gaming report; “Macau is expensive..but it’s hard to push the ‘Sell’ button.”
Back in 2006, Macau surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s biggest casino market and has since grown to more than six times the size of its nearest rival. Between January and November, 2013, for instance, Macau’s casino revenue reached about $41 billion compared to The Las Vegas Strip, which generated $5.8 billion over the same period.