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Macau's gambling revenue up 42% in 2011

Jan. 4, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, saw its gambling revenue reach MOP 267.87 billion or US$33.47 billion in 2011, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 42%, according to the city's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

The gambling revenue for December 2011 stood at MOP 23.61 billion, more than MOP 18.88 billion in December 2010, reflecting an increase of 25%.

Despite of China's tightening steps and local government policies aimed at slowing growth, Macau's momentum in gambling industry is still strong, said a person familiar with the matter, adding that the gambling revenue for 2011 was five times than that estimated by analysts at Las Vegas Strip.

Last year, shares of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd<0027> surged 62%, Melco International Development Ltd<0200> increased 30% and Sands China Ltd<1928>, controlled by Las Vegas Sands Corp, grew 29%.

Cameron McKnight, an analyst at Wells Fargo, estimated that Macau's annual gambling revenue would increase by 11% in 2012.

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