Thursday January 2,2014 : A GREAT YEAR FOR MACAU
Macau gambling revenue rises 18.6 percent to $45 billion in 2013
The gambling island of Macau off the Chinese mainland delivered another outstanding year of positive results for casino operators in 2013, with official numbers released Thursday showing that the industry earned 360.8 billion patacas (US$45 billion) in gambling revenue in 2013, 18.6 percent up on comparative numbers from 2012.
The Reuters news agency reports that Macau is a special administrative region of China which draws more than seven times the gambling revenue of rival casino destination Las Vegas, thanks to its proximity to wealthy Chinese punters.
Officials told the news organisation that better access to the island's facilities boosted revenue from China's growing middle class last year, offsetting a slowdown in the growth of VIP custom following a central government campaign to curb officials' conspicuous spending.
In December, revenue from the islands 36 land casinos grew 18.5 percent from a year earlier to 33.5 billion patacas (US$4.19 billion) thanks to a rise in holiday-season visitors.
The former Portuguese colony's casino market has thrived since the government ended a gambling monopoly a decade ago and let in foreign players such as Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd, transforming the industry on the island with spectacular themed casinos and resorts along the Cotai Strip.
Foreign gambling giants are still pouring billions of dollars into new projects in anticipation of continued growth and wealth expansion in China.