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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Macau gaming revenues hit $3 billion in May

3 June 2011

MACAU -- The opening of a new resort sent Macau's gaming revenues in May, hitting $3 billion for the first time.

According to figures released Wednesday by gaming authorities in the special administrative region, Macau casinos' gaming revenues jumped 42 percent over May 2010 and 19 percent above April's previous one-month record.

Macau casinos, including properties operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd., and MGM Resorts International, collected 24.3 billion patacas, which translated into $3 billion in U.S. funds.

The official release did not break out property-specific performance.

May represented the third consecutive month in which the previous month's all-time record had been eclipsed. Macau's results were aided by the May 15 opening of Hong Kong-based Galaxy Entertainment's Galaxy Macau on the Cotai Strip.

Macau's casino market churned out $23.4 billion in gaming revenues in 2010, a 58 percent increase over 2009 and almost four times the annual revenues produced by the Strip.

Through May, gaming revenues are up 43 percent compared with the same five months of 2010. Many gaming analysts believe Macau gaming revenues will begin to slow their growth comparisons to last year once summer rolls around.

Still, analysts predict Macau will grow gaming revenues in all of 2011 by more than 30 percent from a year ago.

Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski told investors that Macau's best growth opportunities are in the mass market and nongaming segments. He said Galaxy and the scheduled opening next year of new properties operated by Las Vegas Sands could draw additional customers to Cotai.

"Given the higher-margin nature of mass market and nongaming revenues, we believe the continued ramp in these two segments could have a meaningful impact on Las Vegas Sands' bottom-line results," Wieczynski said.

His biggest concern is that Chinese government policy changes, such as further monetary-policy tightening and new visitation restrictions, could threaten future Macau growth projections.
Macau gaming revenues hit $3 billion in May is republished from