01/03/2012 : BUMPER YEAR FOR MACAU GAMBLING
 
42 percent improvement on 2010
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that the gambling centre of Macau has a market that is now five times the size of Las Vegas, and that in 2011 its revenues soared 42 percent over the preceding year.
 
Fuelled by a constant flow of VIP visitors from China, revenues rocketed to 267.87 patacas ($33.47 billion) for the year and showed how successful Asia’s gaming industry continues to be – both land-based and online.
 
Galaxy Entertainment Group completed the year as the best performer in stocks and shares with stocks rising almost 62 percent over the course of the year to finish well ahead of the 30 percent increase achieved by its closest rival, Melco International Development.
 
Macau’s pre-eminent position was further confirmed by December's revenue, which finishing the year up 25 percent when revenue hit 23.61billion patacas ($2.95 billion) compared with the previous December figure of 18.8 billion patacas.
 
However, analysts believe the outlook for 2012 isn't as rosy and expect the pace of growth to slow, if for no other reason than the large haul recorded the previous year, the WSJ notes.
 
Experts pointed to intensifying concerns over the sustainability of the recent explosive growth in VIP gambling, which accounts for nearly 75 percent of all gambling revenue in Macau.
 
Wells Fargo analyst Cameron McKnight forecast in a recent report that Macau gambling revenue would continue to grow, but at a much more modest 11 percent in 2012.
 
One of the key focuses for the year will be on "whether or not the floor is going to fall out of the VIP market," Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertson told the Journal.