In August 2012, Macau’s gross gambling revenue grew by 5.5 percent compared to August previous year. The former Portuguese colony attracts a lot of gamblers, partly due to its gaming regulations different from Chinese gambling laws.
Macau’s total gambling revenue was $3.27 billion in August, mainly because of good results from the mass market. However, this figure is slightly less than the 7 to 9 percent rise most analysts expected. Most experts say the smaller growth is a result of the general slowdown of the gambling sector’s expansion, as well as the VIP market’s continuous underperformance.
Still, industry analysts such as Michael Ting from Hong Kong’s IMB Group are still optimistic about annual two-digit growth in the gambling sector. Forecasts say that the Cotai (Macau’s strip with hotels, casinos and home to some online gambling sites in China) can expect to 24 percent rise in gross gaming revenue in the second half of 2012.
Business experts seem to put their ‘bet’ on companies that can be easily recognized in Cotai strip, such as Melco Crown Entertainment, Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China.
Gambling is regarded as an extremely important factor in Macau – apart from numerous casinos, the enclave hosts some of the biggest names in internet gambling in China. However, the economy of the whole special administrative region of Macau faces a bright future with expected 9.8 percent growth in GDP in 2012, with prospect to a further rise in 2013.
According to the Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU), economic growth in 2013 is expected to be as high as 13.5 percent. The EIU report was also optimistic about investment forecasts. One of the clear signs to cause optimism was the 7.4 percent growth in gross fixed capital formation.
Analysts clearly see this as a sign of investment will, and their forecast of 10.4 percent rise in gross fixed capital formation in 2013 is definitely good news for anyone thinking about doing business in Macau.