Macau gambling revenue surges 40 percent in Feb

HONG KONG, March 3 Sun Mar 2, 2014 11:43pm EST

HONG KONG, March 3 (Reuters) - China's gambling hub Macau raked in 38 billion patacas ($4.8 billion) in gaming revenues in February, boosted by strong spending from wealthy punters during and after a week-long national holiday.

Gambling revenue growth in Macau, a special administrative region that is the only place in China where casinos are allowed, was up 40 percent in February, far ahead of analyst estimates of between 29-35 percent.

A Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau earns the equivalent of Las Vegas's annual haul in less than two months. Gambling revenues totalled $45 billion in 2013, elevating it high above rival gaming destinations.