Macau leads Asian $$$ rise

Dec 28, 2010 7:00 AM

Huge increases in Asian gaming revenues are being projected by the international auditing firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In its latest report, the firm sees Macau’s gaming revenues growing at a compound annual rate of 24.7 percent to $45.1 billion in 2014.

For 2010, the Chinese enclave will see a growth of 56.9 percent with revenues reaching $22.4 billion. Next year, the firm estimated, Macau will grow to $28.3 billion, climbing to $34.2 billion in 2012.

Following Macau, which has 41 casinos in operation, will be Singapore, whose gaming law restricted the number of casinos to two. In its first year of operation, Singapore gaming revenues will exceed $5.4 billion, thus becoming the second largest gaming revenue producer in the Asia Pacific area that includes South Korea and Australia.

PricewaterhouseCoopers sees Singapore increasing its gaming revenue to $8.3 billion by 2014, thus placing it second to Macau in the region.

Third is South Korea and last is Australia, whose gaming market has been under pressure by the strong growth of both Macau and Singapore.

Also according to the report, the growth in Asia Pacific will "dramatically outpace the U.S., the Middle East and Canada." Total revenues in the Asia Pacific market are expected to approach $63 billion by 2014.

Reasons given in the report are: Rising disposable incomes, a deep cultural attachment to casino gaming, and the growing opportunities to participate, as new centers and gaming facilities are opened."

Not included in the report was the potential that could flow from the casino approval in Japan. The issue has been lingering in Japan for a number of years with lawmakers consistently rejecting mainland casinos.

In Singapore, lawmakers were concerned about the expansion of gambling, thus restricted the number of licenses. The underlying reason for even permitting two licenses was to increase tourism to the city/state.

Based on current projections of more than 40 million visitors during this first year of tourism enhancing casinos, the reasoning has been justified.