Macau gambling revenues rise 35% in January

Macau gambling revenues rise 35% in January

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Macau’s gambling revenue increased 35% year-on-year in January to US$3.13 billion, boosted by strong mainland demand during the Chinese New Year holiday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal and the world’s largest gambling destination, is estimated to have earned five times as much gambling revenue as the Las Vegas Strip. However, many analysts see a slowdown coming: The ratio of calls to puts on Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS.NYSE), which has a significant presence in Macau, reached its lowest level since October 2008 on expectations that the territory cannot sustain its 2011 growth trend. “We continue to remain cautious on the Macau gaming market, given slowing growth," said Cameron McKnight, an analyst at Wells Fargo. McKnight estimates the territory will experience only 11% gambling growth this year, down from 42% in 2011.