The billions race June 2010

Superlatives run out as casinos smash yet another record Macau’s casinos pulled in a staggering US$2.125 billion last month – just short of 100 percent more than in the same month last year. Data gathered by Lusa agency from Macau’s gaming operators, indicates that May ended with gross revenues of just over MOP17 billion (US$2.125 billion), an almost 95 percent year-on-year increase. Not only that, May also broke daily revenue records. The enormous figures mean that Macau casinos have pocketed more than MOP72.2 billion (US$9.025 billion) in the first five months of the year, a 70 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Apart from the monthly record, May’s gross revenue is nearly identical to the MOP18 billion earned during the whole of 1997, the most profitable year the Portuguese administration, that ended in 1999, ever had. Last month, Stanley Ho Hung Sun’s Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau kept first place in the operator rankings with just over 32 percent of market share, followed by Sheldon Adelson’s Sands China which had just under 20 percent and by Wynn Resorts with nearly 16 percent of the market. Melco/PBL, a joint-venture which includes Lawrence Ho, Stanley Ho’s son, as one of its main shareholders, took fourth place with almost 14 percent, followed by Galaxy Resorts with a little more than 11 percent and by MGM Macau, a partnership between the North-Americans and Pansy Ho Chui King, daughter of Stanley Ho, which closes the list with over seven percent market share. By the end of March, Macau had 33 casinos, 4,811 tables and 14,503 slot machines. Expert analysis of the evolution of casino revenues in Macau during the first five months of 2010 leads experts to forecast a minimum growth of 40 percent for the year, representing an annual revenue of MOP168 billion (US$21 billion). Charts and graphics in our paper edition and MB online browseable