Macau revenues

Jan 3, 2011 4:09 PM

Once again, Macau surged to world leadership in gaming revenue during the month of December, recording $2.36 billion, an increase of 66 percent over the previous year.

For the year 2010, Macau casinos took in $23.51 billion, a jump of 58 percent over 2009, according to figures supplied by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

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Visitor count during the first 11 months of the year was reported at 22.7 million with the large majority, reportedly in the vicinity of 80 percent, coming from mainland China.

Analysts believe that the high-level of growth probably will not be maintained but that modest increases should continue.

"The absolute level of the market is massive so it’s hard to sustain that level of growth," explained Aaron Fischer, head of an Asian gaming research firm. However, he sees Macau gaming growing at 20 percent this year and 25 percent in 2012.

Publicly-traded gaming stocks with involvement in Macau showed increases in trading on Monday. Showing strength were Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) with a share price increase of $5.15 to $108.99; MGM Resorts International, up $0.53 to $15.38, and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL), increasing $0.26 to $6.62.

Not benefiting was Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), whose shares initially rose more than $1 but dropped to $45.59, down $0.36 after being attacked by short sellers.