Macau surpasses Vegas

The gaming regulator of Macau has announced that gaming in the small Chinese territory has surpassed that of Las Vegas, following predictions last week that it would do exactly that.

Gaming revenue in Macau has risen by an impressive 22 per cent in 2006, bringing in $6.95 billion to the city’s industry. This surpassed forecasts of a 15 per cent growth in revenues. Although Las Vegas is yet to release their gaming revenue details, estimates suggest that they will be just below that of Macau at in between $6.5 billion and $6.7 billion.

Last year alone, seven new casinos opened up in Macau which led to a doubling in the number of gaming tables, bringing the total to 2,762. Tourist visits also showed impressive increases, rising by 17 per cent in 2006 from the previous year, totalling 22 million.

Since Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho lost his monopoly on the island in 2004, Macau has been a magnet for foreign investment, with all the big Las Vegas names wanting a piece of the pie. As a result, the economy has doubled over four years to $12 billion.

Wynn Resorts, founded by billionaire Steve Wynn, opened the Wynn Macau in September and has plans underway for a second. MGM Mirage is also set to follow.

Macau has become the envy of all of Asia, leading to many other Asian countries attempting to recreate its success. Singapore has begun the steps to relax its gambling laws and has awarded its second casino licence late last year to Malaysia’s Genting Bhd which is expected to open its $3.1 billion resort on the island of Sentosa by early 2010.

Editor, - 2007-01-23 10:58:05

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