Macau casino revenue jumped 32 percent to a record of 36.5 billion patacas ($4.57 billion) in October, boosted by mainland Chinese visitors who spent their Golden Week holiday in the world’s largest gambling hub.
The monthly casino revenue was in line with an average consensus of 36 billion patacas from seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The previous record was 31.34 billion patacas in March.
Casino operators such as Sands China Ltd. (1928) and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (27) have been adding entertainment shows and hotel rooms to draw Chinese tourists to the former Portuguese enclave. Mainland visitors to Macau rose 12.1 percent to 722,746 over the October Golden Week holiday from a year earlier, according to the Macau Government Tourist Office.
Gambling revenue in the Chinese city gained 18 percent to 297.1 billion patacas ($37.2 billion) in the first 10 months of this year, close to the $38 billion revenue the city raked in for the whole of 2012, which was six times of that the Las Vegas Strip.
Total visitor arrivals grew 5.7 percent to 896,847 during the holiday between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7. Mainland visitors have helped fuel a boom in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal.
Sands China, MGM China Holdings Ltd. (2282) and Wynn Macau Ltd. have all reported double-digit earnings growth in casino revenue in the third quarter amid an improving Chinese economy. China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters with gross domestic product rising 7.8 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier.
MGM China reported overnight that third-quarter profit missed analyst estimates amid rising competition. Bigger rivals such as Sands and Galaxy Entertainment already have projects on the increasingly popular Cotai Strip in Macau, a piece of reclaimed land that is Asia’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM has one Macau casino on the peninsula and is building its second resort in Cotai.
MGM shares rose 1 percent to close at HK$27 in Hong Kong trading today, Sands China and Galaxy gained 1.8 percent while Wynn Macau dropped 0.8 percent and Melco Crown Entertainment fell 0.6 percent. SJM Holdings Ltd. (880), founded by Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho, was unchanged. The Hong Kong benchmark Index advanced 0.2 percent.
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