* Revenue in line with estimates
* April figure is second-highest this year
* Week-long holiday expected to boost May revenue
HONG KONG, May 2 Gambling revenue in Macau, the
world's biggest gaming destination, rose 13.2 percent in April
year-on-year, buoyed by strong demand from wealthy Chinese
April's revenue at 28.3 billion patacas ($3.54 billion) was
in line with analyst forecasts and was the second-highest
monthly revenue total this year after a record of 31.3 billion
patacas in March.
Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, is the only place in
China where casino gambling is legal. Home to half a million
people, monthly gambling revenues are more than double the Las
Vegas strip's annual take of $6 billion.
Revenues in May are expected to be strong due to the
week-long holiday at the start of the month.
Located on China's southern coast, Macau depends on
high-spending VIP gamblers, or "whales", who spend 1 million
yuan ($160,700) at a time. The territory is also increasingly
depending on the fast-growing mass market of Chinese visitors,
but more than two-thirds of casino revenues still come from VIP
The VIP sector is highly reliant on junket operators to
attract millionaire Chinese spenders. Casino operators pay hefty
commissions to the junkets for providing the services.
The mass-market segment, made up of cash-rich Chinese
Mom-and-Pop visitors, are a key target for casino operators and
Macau's government who are pushing to diversify Macau's gambling
Non-gaming ventures are such as shows, retail and food and
beverage still make up a fraction of overall revenues compared
to Las Vegas where non-gaming earnings outweigh gambling
Casinos such as Las Vegas Sands Corp, Galaxy
Entertainment Group Ltd and Melco Crown Entertainment
Ltd are developing attractions to appeal to a wider
array of visitors.
Sands China Ltd, Sheldon Adelson's Macau unit,
announced a licensing agreement with movie studio Dreamworks
Animation this week, enabling the casino to use characters like
Shrek and Po from the animated film "Kung Fu Panda" in the
resorts to attract leisure and family visitors.