HONG KONG (Reuters) - Casino revenue in Macau, the world’s largest gambling destination, surged 42 percent in 2011 to a record 267.87 billion patacas, propelled by a flood of gamblers from mainland China.
December gaming revenue rose 25 percent to 23.61 billion patacas, government figures showed on Tuesday.
The result, which mark a slight slowdown in growth from 2010 when full-year revenue soared 58 percent, continue to defy concerns over the global economy and a domestic credit squeeze.
The former Portuguese colony, an hour from Hong Kong by ferry, is the only place in China in which casino gambling is allowed, helping it rake in revenue five times larger than U.S. rival Las Vegas.
While Macau’s gaming revenue easily trumps that of Las Vegas, the non-gaming component accounts for less than 5 percent of total revenue. In Las Vegas, earnings from shows, conventions and dining account for more than half of total revenue.
Macau government officials have increased calls for the development of Macau’s gaming industry by stimulating growth in non-gaming areas such as conferences and exhibitions, hotels, retail, and food and beverage segments, pledging to support development in these areas.
Editing by Chris Lewis