Macau casino revenue rose 20 percent

Jan 2, 2013 7:46 AM

Macau casino revenue rose 20 percent to a record last month, beating analyst estimates, as Christmas promotions drew more holiday-makers to the world’s biggest gambling hub.

Casino revenue in the Chinese city jumped to 28.2 billion patacas ($3.5 billion) in December, trumping the previous record of 27.7 billion patacas in October, according to data from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau today. The growth compares with the 17.5 percent median estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, helping drive Sands China Ltd. (1928) shares to a record high in Hong Kong.

“This is definitely better than our expectation, and much higher than the street estimates,” Jeremy Tan, a Hong Kong- based analyst at Kim Eng Securities HK Ltd. said by phone, “It’s a combination of higher holiday footfall, higher win- rate, and a return to VIP market,” he said.

Sands China, the Hong Kong-listed unit of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas company, rose 5.3 percent to HK$35.75, the highest close since its November 2009 debut.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (27) also jumped 3.1 percent to HK$31.30, the highest since at least October 1991, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 2.9 percent.

Full-year casino revenue in Macau increased 14 percent from 2011 to 304 billion patacas, also a record, according to the Gaming Bureau.

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