Macau Casino Revenue Soars 48% To $2.5 Billion In February 2011

The southern Chinese gambling resort of Macau continues to consolidate its position as the world’s number one gambling resort after posting a 47.7% increase in its casino revenue figures for February to 19.86 billion patacas ($2.5 billion).
In days past Las Vegas used to be the gambling destination of choice for wealthy Asian gamblers but now Macau’s popularity is unparalleled with 83% of Macau’s 25 million tourists in 2010 hailing from Mainland China and Hong Kong.
In addition to having the advantage of being China’s sole city where gambling is legal, the resort of Macau has also profited incredibly by a Chinese economy enjoying double-digit growth, as well as an increasingly affluent population.
These combination of factors have seen Macau’s gambling industry continuing to go from strength to strength, now even managing to buck the traditional lower casino revenue trend for February.
Generally, February generates revenue figures around 5 to 10% lower than in January, mostly as a result of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. However, the month’s figure of $2.5 billion has eclipsed that of $2.3 billion recorded in January and commenting on the results Macquarie Head of Conglomerates and Gaming, Gary Pinge said:
“February looks all the more impressive given the fact that there were three (10 percent) fewer days and one less weekend than in January. If this is a trend for the rest of the year, Macau could continue to see strong growth, month on month.”
In spite of the incredible start to the year, CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer is still maintaining his 30% estimate of gambling revenue growth for 2011. Accounting for 70% of Macau’s gambling revenue are China’s high-rolling VIP segment who enjoy spending millions each month at the resorts high stakes baccarat tables.
However, Aaron Fischer has warned of a slow down over the coming year as a result of what he describes as “some form of tightening on the VIP side.”

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