Casino surge sees Macau close in on Japan
Macau, the special administrative region of China in the South China Sea measuring just 30 square kilometres, became the world’s 3rd largest gambling jurisdiction in 2010, according to research for GBGC’s new, seventh edition of its market leading Global Gambling Report.
Macau leapt into 3rd place with total gambling revenues of US$ 23.83 billion in 2010, ahead of Italy and the UK. Only the US and Japan now lie in front of Macau in the rankings. Macau’s casino gaming revenues rose by 42% to US$ 33.40 billion in 2011 and it is closing in fast on Japan in second place. Macau’s gaming sector is showing no signs of slowing in 2012 and revenues are up 27% in the first quarter of the year.
These top 5 markets accounted for 53% of all global gambling revenues.
“After a slowdown in 2009, the performance of Macau’s casinos has been remarkable in 2010 and 2011. Macau entered the top 5 in 2010 and if its growth continues at a similar pace for the next few years it is not inconceivable it could take second place from Japan. Of course, if Japan finally permits integrated casino resorts this will help boost its gambling revenues and keep it ahead of Macau,” explained GBGC’s Director Lorien Pilling.
April 2012 saw Sands China open the latest stage of its development on Macau’s Cotai Strip. Costing some US$ 5 billion on completion, Sands Cotai Central is adding 5,800 new hotel rooms to Macau and more than one million square feet of retail, entertainment and dining space.
The completion of Sands Cotai Central follows on from nearby Galaxy Macau’s opening last year, as the Cotai Strip, which not too many years ago was under water and swamp, becomes the battleground between casino operators for market share in Macau.