Macau earns $23 Billion in 2010 – World’s Top Gambling Market
Before 2010, many already considered Macau to be the world’s largest gambling market in comparison to fellow gambling destination Las Vegas. In 2010, Macau cemented itself as the world’s premier gambling destination after hauling in over $23 billion in casino revenues.
A Chinese government website showed that Macau earned over $23 billion (188 billion pacatas), which was nearly a 58% increase from the year before. Macau’s gambling explosion was marked by a 66% December increase in revenue from December of 2009. The amazing thing about Macau’s gambling revenue surge is that it’s come after both the Chinese government and local Macau government officials have urged the territory to diversify their economy.
Of course, the urge to diversify is nothing compared to the problems Macau faced last year when China imposed visa restrictions on citizens and the swine flu epidemic was at its peak. A large reason for Macau’s success is attributed to the fact that it’s the only Chinese territory where gambling is legal. Seeing as how China has a population of over 1.3 billion, the former Portuguese colony is the main option for Chinese gamblers.
However, the growth of Macau figures to hit a cap sometime soon since the government has been adamant in recent years about rejecting new casino developments. SJM Holdings Inc. and Las Vegas Sands have already been denied applications to build new casinos in Macau. Compounding the problem is that unfinished casinos won’t be granted new land after 2012. Some casinos are even having a difficult time finishing their establishments now because of Macau’s strict policy on foreign laborers. Las Vegas Sands’ Cotai project is one casino that’s been affected by the tough laws.
But even with all of the restrictions and limits placed on growth, it seems as if Macau’s gambling revenue will continue to rise after such a successful year in 2010.