Mini Building Boom in Macau

06 May 2012 | 13:23 Author: Seth Shafer

Macau is experiencing a mini building boom after a lull in new casinos opening, with the long-delayed Sands Cotai Central casino finally opening its doors while Wynn Macau was granted approval for a new casino of its own on the Cotai Strip, with Galaxy Entertainment Group planning a large expansion of its Galaxy Macau resort.

Macau is experiencing a mini building boom after a lull in new casinos opening, with the long-delayed Sands Cotai Central casino finally opening its doors while Wynn Macau was granted approval for a new casino of its own on the Cotai Strip, with Galaxy Entertainment Group planning a large expansion of its Galaxy Macau resort.

Las Vegas Sands suffered through numerous delays in its $5.4 billion Sands Cotai Central (including delays in gaining givernment approvals and a worker shortage) but finally opened Macau's 35th casino in April. Its the latest entry into a booming gambling market that shows no signs of slowing; Macau's gambling revenues rose 27 percent in the first three months of 2012, after shooting up 42 percent last year to $33.5 billion -- over five times the amount earned by Las Vegas Strip casinos.

Macau eclipsed the Vegas Strip back in 2006 for total gambling revenues taken in on an annual basis, with Singapore the next in line to overtake Vegas as demand for gambling remains strong in both areas, which traditionally had eschewed casinos and forced gamblers to travel abroad to satisfy their baccarat and slots cravings.

Despite the strong demand the next new casino in Macau isn't slated to open until at least 2015, with several other operators in the area such as Wynn and MGM Grand jockeying for position to open new casinos and resorts themselves.

Wynn Macauu cleared a big hurdle in May when the government granted the company a 51 acre concession to build its second resort in the city, which has become increasingly important to Wynn's overall revenues. Wynn pulled in 72 percent of its overall 2011 revenue of $5.3 billion from Macau, with that trend likely to continue for the near future as Las Vegas and other gambling areas in the US struggle to recover from the recent recession.

Galaxy Entertainment doesn't have a new casino in the works but is planning a $2.1 billion expansion of its Galaxy Macau resort, which will nearly double its size and add 500 gaming tables and up to 1,300 new hotel rooms.

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