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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Macau gaming revenues hit record in October

2 November 2011

MACAU -- Macau's gaming revenues soared to a new single-month record in October, fueled by the Chinese holiday of Golden Week.

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said Tuesday that casino operators collected gaming revenues of 26.9 billion patacas, or $3.36 billion. The figure was a 42.3 percent increase over October 2010.

The single-month total eclipsed by roughly 8 percent the previous one-month record set in August.

Through October, Macau gaming revenues are up 45 percent over the same 10 months in 2010.

Macau, which has 34 casinos, including properties operated by Wynn Resorts Ltd., Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International, is the world's largest gaming market.

In 2010, Macau casinos collected more than $23.5 billion in gaming revenues, five times from what was collected by Strip hotel-casinos.

Analysts said the market has absorbed the May opening of the Galaxy Macau in the Cotai Strip.

Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said October's results contradicted Chinese media reports of an economic slowdown in the region.

"The results continue to reflect a widening disconnect between mainstream media reports and what operators are actually experiencing on the ground," Wieczynski said in a report to investors.

Macau's news agency reported that unofficially, Las Vegas Sands has 14 percent of the gaming market by revenue, Wynn Resorts had 13 percent and MGM Resorts held 11.2 percent.

Susquehanna International Group gaming analyst Rachael Rothman called the results "bullish" for Macau operators, given concerns the Chinese economy was softening.

"Gaming revenues bounced back in a record-setting way following a September in which trends disappointed expectations," Rothman told investors. "October's result was slightly better than growth rate trends rumored earlier on in the month. Trends encouragingly accelerated post-Golden Week."