Macau's casino and gambling revenues climb 42% in 2011

People at gaming station Macau
Image caption Asia's economic growth has resulted in a boom for Macua's casino operators

Casino gambling revenue in Macau jumped 42% in 2011, helped by an increase in visitors from mainland China.

Revenue was $33.5bn (£21.4bn) in 2011, up from $23.5bn in 2010, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said.

Macau has been building new hotels and transport links to boost visitors.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Asia is set to become the world's biggest gaming market in 2013.

In a report published last month, PricewaterhouseCoopers said it expected Macau to almost double its revenues over the next five years, accounting for about a third of total global casino earnings.

That would place it ahead of the US.

Maintaining growth

However, despite the increase in revenues, Macau's rate of growth was slower than the 57.8% it recorded in 2010.

Faced with tougher global economic conditions, Macau has a number of projects underway aimed at increasing visitor numbers.

There is a new railway that connects Macau and Guangzhou that aims to reduce travel time from the mainland, as well as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau road bridge.

At the same time, new gaming space and accommodation is also being opened up.

The Galaxy Macau opened in May 2011 with 450 gaming tables and 2,200 hotel rooms.

The Sands Cotai Central, a casino resort, is scheduled to open in 2012 with 300,000 square feet of gaming space and 5,800 rooms from Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Conrad, said Mabel Wu, senior press officer at Sands China.

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