Asia may surpass United States in casino gambling revenue

Revenue from Asian booming gambling resorts could surpass the United States by 2012, with growth driven by the southern Chinese gaming enclave of Macau and other sites, according to an industry survey recently released.

Besides Macau, growth could also get a lift from casinos under construction in Singapore and sites being considered in other countries. Of the 23 industry executives, analysts and academics polled, more than 80 percent said Asia’s dominance was very likely or likely.

„The results … foretell a remarkable future for the Asian gaming market,“ said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, which conducted the survey. „There is no doubt this is an exciting time in Asia for the gaming industry.“

American casinos raked in USD 34.1 billion in 2007, according to the association. Asia’s estimated take ranged between USD 15 billion and USD 20 billion, it said. The report was released ahead of a regional gambling conference in Macau.

Among other findings, a majority of those surveyed expect Macau to remain Asian market leader. Macau saw revenues grow at an annualized rate of 41 percent between 2005 and 2007. Last year, Macau casinos took in USD 10.3 billion, according to the government. In 2006, the former Portuguese colony surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s top gambling center.