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Macau sees historic March with $2.5 billion in revenue

1 Apr 2011

By Howard Stutz
MACAU -- Macau casinos shattered the Chinese gaming enclave's monthly gaming revenue records during March, collecting the equivalent of $2.5 billion from gamblers.

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said casinos in the Chinese Special Administrative reported revenues of 20.1 billion patacas during March, a 48 percent increase compared with revenues reported in March 2010.

The figure was a 1.1 percent increase from February, which held the previous monthly record of 19.86 billion patacas.

Analysts didn't believe Macau casinos would see any slowdown in the upcoming months. The market also will benefit when Hong Kong-based Galaxy Entertainment opens a new hotel-casino in late spring.

"We anticipate continued strength throughout the second quarter, most notably in May, given the timing of the holiday period and the midmonth opening of Galaxy Cotai," Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli told investors.

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

"We believe these results are consistent with our Macau market outlook and support our belief that gaming revenues will continue to be strong in 2011, even despite challenging comparisons," Jefferies & Co. gaming analyst David Katz said.

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