Gambling revenue in Macau rose 22% in April from a year earlier, government statistics showed Wednesday, as players from mainland China continued to fuel growth, though not at as quick a pace as the year before.
Gambling revenue in Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, rose to MOP25 billion (US$3.13 billion) last month, up from MOP20.51 billion a year earlier, according to data from Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Revenue in the first four months rose 26% from a year earlier to MOP99.32 billion.
Macau's revenue growth has been explosive since the end of 2009 as players have continued to place bets regardless of China's tightening measures and local government policies aimed at slowing growth to a more measured pace. Analysts expect the pace of growth to slow in 2012, however, due to a high base of comparison last year and concerns about the sustainability of the aggressive growth in VIP play. The most bearish gambling revenue growth estimates for the territory hover around 11% compared with last year's 42% rise.
The Chinese territory remains the largest gambling center in the world many times over. Last year it raked in more than five times the gambling revenue of the Las Vegas Strip.
-By Kate O'Keeffe and Yvonne Lee, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2802-7002; firstname.lastname@example.org