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Macau gaming revenues hit all-time single month record of $3.5 billion in October

2 November 2012

Macau casinos collected $3.5 billion in gaming revenues during October, the highest single-month figure ever recorded.

Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said Thursday the figure was 3 percent higher than October 2011, which had the previously established single-month record.

The figure marked the third time this year that Macau gaming revenues had increased by single digits, which are considered bad months in the Chinese gaming market. In July, Macau gaming revenues grew just 1.5 percent, the lowest increase in three years.

For the first 10 months of 2012, Macau gaming revenues are up 13 percent over the same time period of 2011. Last year, Macau collected $33.5 billion in gaming revenues, more than five times the amount collected on the Strip and a 42 percent increase over 2010.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. operate casinos in Macau.

"Despite establishing a new monthly record, we do not expect the results to be well received by investors, as the rate of gross gaming revenues growth appears to have lagged gaming capacity growth within the market," Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said in a research report.

October is considered a seasonally strong month in Macau, given the national Golden Week holiday.

"We remain cautious on Macau gaming given macroeconomic and political uncertainties," Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Cameron McKnight said.

Mainland China is expected to conclude its 18th Party Congress in Beijing this month, which could bring some clarity to China's leadership structure.

"The successful conclusion ... could provide a shot in the arm for VIP demand and result in fourth quarter upside," said Susquehanna International Group gaming analyst Rachael Rothman.