Macau’s gambling market beats Las Vegas

Macau has outperformed Las Vegas in gross revenue from casino and other gaming activities in the first 10 months this year, according to a Financial Times report on Tuesday. Citing figures compiled by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau, the newspaper’s website reported that the territory’s gross gaming revenue reached US$5.51 billion.

This surpasses the Las Vegas Strip’s total of US$5.44 billion over the same period.

Macau’s growth has been driven by a number of new casino openings after the market was opened up to competition and overseas investment in 2002, forcing former monopoly holder Stanley Ho to accept new players. 

Since then six licences have been issued in China’s only legal gambling area. Three licenses were secured by Ho, his daughter Pansy Ho in alliance with MGM Mirage, and his son Lawrence Ho’s Melco International Development Ltd. in alliance with Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd.

The other three licenses were snatched by Las Vegas casino mogul Stephen Wynn, Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Hong Kong businessman Lui Che-woo’s Galaxy Entertainment.

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Around 17.9 million visitors have been drawn to the territory in the first 10 months this year, surpassing the 16.7 million visitors for the whole of 2004, according to government figures.


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