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Macau Gambling Revenue Finally Slows After Three Year Surge

For casinos in Macau, the past three years has seemed like Christmas every day of the year. Revenue has grown by outrageous figures over the three years, so much so that the existing casino owners and the Macau government vowed to slow the development of the industry.

That slowing had not taken place in recent months, as growth remains steady and at figures that have never before been seen in the gaming industry. In some months, revenue growth was up over fifty percent from the same period the season before.

In May, Macau casinos experienced a problem that most casinos around the world would want to have. Revenue increased by 7.3% in the month, but that figure was well below the average revenue growth for Macau over the past few years. The May revenue figure was 26.08patacas, the second highest total ever in a month, but not on par with the percentage of growth that has occurred since 2009.

"The VIP slowdown is more severe than expected but we need to wait until around the fourth quarter for an easier year on year comparison," said Gabriel Chan, an analyst at Credit Suisse. "Loosening in China will also help VIP but between now and then, hang on tight."

Mainland China has been instrumental to the gambling boom that has taken place in Macau. Up until the time when Macau casinos started to offer top of the line gambling, mainland Chinese gamblers would travel across the world and spend millions of dollars a night betting in Las Vegas casinos.

The Vegas casinos have taken a hit financially since the Asian high rollers started staying closer to home. Several Vegas-based gaming companies, such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, have opened casinos in Macau and are benefiting from the increase in gambling activity.

Sheldon Adelson, the CEO( of Sands, was the first to invest in Macau, sinking billions of dollars of his own money into the Macau destination resorts. That investment is paying off high dividends since the gaming explosion hit several years ago. Adelson has since moved into Singapore, and is currently attempting to convince Spanish lawmakers to allow casino resorts in heavily populated areas of Spain.

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