Macau gambling revenue up 22%

Macau gambling revenue up 22%

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Gambling revenues in Macau hit US$3.04 billion in February, up 22.3% year-on-year, the South China Morning Post reported, citing government figures. Macau is the world's largest gambling destination, and one of the fastest growing economies thanks to an influx of gamblers from mainland China. Revenue for 2011 was US$33.5 billion, up 42% from 2010 - though many analysts are predicting a slowdown to the 11-20% range for 2012. Slowing economic growth in China as well as a drop in private lending will likely cut into growth in the mainland VIP segment, which makes up the overwhelming majority of revenues. Large gaming companies such as Las Vegas Sands (LVS.NYSE), Sands China (1928.HKG) and Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL.NASDAQ) had strong earning last year, partly due to a shift towards the mass market-oriented Cotai Strip properties.