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China – Revenues of US$45.2bn see Macau’s casinos surpass the US

By - 3 January 2014

Macau’s casino market generated over US$45.2bn in gaming revenue in 2013, believed to be seven times more than the Las Vegas Strip and more even than the whole of the commercial casino industry in the United States.

The surging revenue surpassed 2012’s record total of $38bn by 18.6 per cent.

The figures were boosted by December’s GGR which saw Macau’s casinos generate $4.2bn, an increase of 18.5 per cent over December the previous year. December’s total was the second time Macau had generated more than $4bn in a month this year. October set a single-month record of $4.6bn in gaming revenues.

Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said: “The monthly result was well ahead of consensus expectations.”

He added that double-digit gaming revenue growth was expected in Macau during the coming year explaining however that a repeat of this year’s 18.6 per cent increase would be a difficult due to a lack of new casino openings.

“We believe better guest sourcing penetration into more remote regions of China, continued evolution of the mass market business and resilience within the VIP segment are capable of generating organic gross gaming revenue growth of three per cent to 16 per cent,” Mr. Wieczynski explained.

Looking forward to 2014, Union Gaming Group analyst Grant Govertsen said: “Based on numerous conversations we’ve had with casino operators over the past few weeks, we find no reason to alter our bullish stance on Macau as we head into 2014. It’s going to be another strong year in 2014, while the growth rate is likely to be in mid-teens. In absolute terms, it’s going to be magnificent growth because of the improved rail connection and infrastructure, as well as the addition of the Chimelong theme park on the neighbouring Hengqin Island.”

At DBS Vickers Hong Kong, analyst Wee Keat Lee predicted gaming revenue would increase by 15 per cent in2014, driven by strong mass-market growth, which could grow by more than 30 per cent with VIP market growth remaining in single digits.

Karen Tang, from Deutsche Bank Research, predicted growth of 20 per cent in 2014 with mass market growing the by 34 per cent and VIP by 14 per cent.

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