According to the Macau Statistics and Census Service, the vibrant Asian island economy registered significant gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 31.6 percent year-on-year for the first quarter of 2008, with the busy gambling industry making a substantial contribution.
 
Gross Gaming Revenues for the period soared by 61.8 percent in nominal terms compared with the same quarter in 2007, and total visitor spending increased by 4.3 percent.
 
Statistics from the Nevada-based Globalysis Ltd tell a similar success story for the gambling industry, reporting that despite the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government's decision to freeze the expansion of Macao's gaming industry (see previous InfoPowa report), Macau's GGR for year 2008 will still experience around 28.8 percent growth to US$ 13.5 billion.
 
"It now looks like Macau will bypass not only the Las Vegas Strip once again in terms of gaming revenue in 2008, but for the first time, also that of the entire metropolitan area of Las Vegas (Clark County)," said Jonathan Galaviz, partner at the Globalysis, adding that the continuous growth in Macau GGR is "….a reflection of the generally strong macro-economic environment that Macau finds itself within Asia."
 
Numbers released in 2006 made the gambling industry worldwide sit up and take notice when Macau gaming revenues were shown to have surpassed those of the Las Vegas Strip, and these soared a further 47 percent to US$ 10.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, outperforming U.S. commercial casinos, where revenues rose only 5.3 percent.
 
The construction of a number of mega casino-resort projects is underway currently in the city's Cotai district, reports the news publication CRI. This includes the Cotai Strip project launched by the Las Vegas Sands and the City of Dream built by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. Upon completion, Cotai alone will offer nearly 20 000 five-star hotel rooms, and 12 major casinos.