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Casinos in the Chinese gaming enclave collected $2.6 billion in April from gamblers, according to figures released by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Tuesday.
The monthly total was a 44.6 increase compared with April 2010 and up 2.1 percent over the previous month.
The gaming revenue total in April was the third straight monthly record for Macau casinos, including properties operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International.
Observers were surprised by the figure because there weren't any major holidays during the month.
In a report to investors, Union Gaming Group Principal Grant Govertsen, who is based in Macau, said strong mass-market visitation trends, combined with an increase in high-end customer play, helped spur the revenue increase.
Macau has 33 large and small casinos. Hong Kong-based Galaxy Entertainment is opening a large resort later this month.
"We think the ramping of mass market and slot revenues bodes well for the opening of Galaxy Macau, which will have a significant mass-market focus," Govertsen said.
Analysts said the gaming trends in Macau continue to trend positive.
"Given the holiday and our sense of continued junket liquidity health, we would expect May to again break the monthly gross gaming revenue record," said Wells Fargo securities gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli.
JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff said he expects the Macau gaming market to grow more than 30 percent in 2011, following 2010's $23.5 billion revenue year, a 58 percent increase.
For the first four months of 2011, Macau gaming revenues are up 43 percent.
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