Macao’s gaming revenue for 2008 expected to exceed USD 10 billion

Macao’s gaming revenue for 2008 is expected to see a double-digit increase, the total of which will reach 100 billion patacas (over 10 billion U.S. dollars), said Lau Pun Lap, member of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), on Saturday.

He estimated that this year’s gaming revenue growth will be lower than last year, but as industry development keeps its momentum, a double-digit increase can be sustained this year.

Macao’s gross gaming revenue rose 46.6 percent last year to 83 billion patacas (around 10.4 billion U.S. dollars), which boost the island city of 528,000 residents to top Las Vegas as the world’s most lucrative gambling market.

Lau said as more casinos are put into operation in Macao, market competition will intensify this year and some of the casinos may be knocked out in the fight for market shares.

As the Ponte 16 casino resort opened in February, Macao now has29 casinos.

Meanwhile, as Macao’s gaming market is susceptible to the global economy, a possible recession in U.S. economy, fluctuations of stock markets and rampant snowstorms in the Chinese mainland that hurt the SAR‘s tourism, will affect local gaming market, therefore, the government and casino operators should be ready for such market risks, he added.