Thursday,  November 3, 2011 :  Macau casino gambling revenue rose to a new record in October, propelled by an increase in mainland visitors during China’s Golden Week national holidays.
 
Revenue rose 42 percent to 26.9 billion patacas ($3.4 billion), the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau advised in a statement, reboundng from September’s 39 percent, the slowest in eight months.
 
Visitor numbers to the gambling island rose 13 percent from a year earlier during China’s Golden Week holiday starting Octber 1, according to the city’s tourism bureau.
 
One analyst commented: "The October revenue figure of $3.4 billion is more than half of what Las Vegas is expected to make for the whole of 2011."
 
The former Portuguese colony, an hour from Hong Kong by ferry, is the only place in China in which casino gambling is legal, helping revenue there exceed that of neon rival Las Vegas fivefold in a sustained improvement that has shrugged off global economic crises so far. The tiny enclave sees  monthly visitor inflows of close to 3 million.
 
Despite strong third-quarter earnings, shares of the multi-billion-dollar gaming companies operating in the enclave have been volatile, with investors worrying about slowing growth next year.
 
Casino executives have said they do not expect growth to stay at 40-50 percent indefinitely, but that fundamentals of the lucrative industry remain solid because of factors including still untapped Chinese demand, an appreciating renminbi, and rising wages across the country.