Macau Casinos Surge In December To End $23.5bn Up In 2010January 5, 2011 12:35 pm
December’s revenue figures for the world’s largest gambling resort of Macau ended in a suitably strong fashion to cap an incredible 2010.
In December, the Chinese enclave posted a 66% rise in revenue to $2.36 billion compared to a year earlier, taking the overall casino revenue of Macau in 2010 to a record $23.5 billion (£15.2bn).
Commenting on the incredible figures, CLSA gaming analyst Aaron Fischer said:
“We were not expecting it to be so strong in December…We thought it would fall off a bit in the last few weeks (of the month) but it didn’t. Historically, Christmas is not a big gambling time.”
Macau was a Portuguese colony until it was handed back to the Chinese in 1999 and is the only place in the country where gambling is permitted. After Macau opened up its gambling industry to foreign competition in 2002, it has seen its revenue figures consistently climbing and the $23.5b billion in revenue collected in 2010 is a full four times bigger than the amount generated back in 2005.
A large part of Macau’s success can be attributed to a booming Chinese economy, as well as an increasingly larger number of wealthy Chinese and Asian gamblers who now find it more convenient to travel to nearby Macau compared to their destination choice of yesteryear Las Vegas.
Despite the impressive success story of Macau, the Chinese government has still highlighted its concern that the resort’s economy should not become overly gambling-dependent but should diversify to attract family holidays and other entertainments.
This has lead to the Macau government announcing various initiatives in order to restrict the expansion of gambling within the city, including capping the number of gambling tables allowed within the casinos.
The government is hoping that such moves will help maintain the sustainability of the Macau model, with gaming expert Davis Fong from the University of Macau predicting that:
“If there are no further government policy measures, then I’d say the gaming revenue figure would continue to grow.”