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Macau Gambling Revenues Hit Record High

Despite worries of tightening credit in China gambling revenues in Macau continue to soar, with a new record set in October for total gambling revenue taken in.

October eclipsed the previous record set in August, with about $3.36 billion in gambling revenues generated in October in Macau (which is on pace to do roughly five times what the Las Vegas Strip will pull in for 2011).

Revenues were up 42% over the same period in 2010, with one of China' "golden week" holidays helping boost numbers for October. Macau offers the only legal opportunity for many Chinese residents to gamble, with revenues exploding over the last few years as more and more foreign companies invest in huge mega-casinos in Macau.

Much of the gambling dollars is generated by baccarat, which is by far the most popular casino game in Macau and responsible for a majority of the revenue. Numerous junket operators that cater to VIPs and high rollers transport gamblers to and from Macau and extend credit and other services.

Fears that China may rein in some of the junket operators has led to increased volatility in the share value of publicly-traded gambling operators in Macau, with many seeing 20% swings over the last month.

While many have speculated that China may move to cool the growth of Macau no real evidence supports it, with revenues continuing to climb as 2011 has progressed.

15-Nov-2011, 04:13

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