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Macau gambling revenues soar 58 percent to record levels

The gambling island of Macau off the Chinese coast has once again proved that it leads the global field, reporting revenues up 58% in 2010 to a new record of 188.34 billion patacas ($23.5 billion).

Analysts said the achievement was based on floods of punters from the Chinese mainland and the continued ascendancy of the Chinese national economy, with December gambling revenue soaring 66.4% to a record monthly high of 18.883 billion patacas, according to the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

The Reuters news agency reports that stellar growth in revenue in 2010 contrasts with a growth of only 10% in 2009, and opined that significant discretionary spending by affluent Chinese would continue to drive revenues in 2011 despite global economic storm clouds, although growth could moderate somewhat.

"The absolute level of the market is massive so it's hard to sustain that level of growth," said Aaron Fischer, CLSA's head of Asian gaming research, who expects Macau gambling revenue growth of 20% this year and 25% in 2012. Other observers were less optimistic, predicting 2011 growth of 17%, although they cautioned that a swing of ten percent in either direction was not impossible.

Janet Brashear of Bernstein research said: "Government and economic variables abound however, which could alter the growth rate dramatically in either direction."

Two new integrated casino resorts will be finished within 18 months on the Cotai strip, fuelling competition.

Source: InfoPowa News

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