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Macau casinos take in $3.78 billion during October
After setting a new record in October with $4.57 billion in casino revenue, the casinos in Macau have reported another great month with total gambling revenue going up 21.3% from November last year to MOP 30.18 billion, or $3.78 billion. It was expected that November would have smaller revenue than October due to the many travelers visiting the city for Golden Week two months ago but it was certainly not a bad run for the casinos. Analysts were predicting a 20% growth, so there was still some wiggle room to work with.
With November now in the books, the casinos in Macau declared a total gambling revenue for the year thus far of MOP 327.29 billion, or $41 billion, representing an increase of 18.6% from the same period last year. It is also a lot more than the total gambling revenue registered for the entire 2012 ($37.1 billion) with another month of full gaming action expected to hit the tables during December.
Big events attract more players
Some of the credit for the successful month of November goes to the huge sporting events which took center stage last month. These are the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, which was held at the Venetian Macao, and the annual Grand Prix race, which took place across two weekends and brought a surge of racing enthusiasts with a passion for gambling to the city.
Analysts expect the gambling revenue in Macau to keep rising as improvements are currently being made to the rail infrastructure in China and a bridge from Macau to Hong Kong and Zhuhai will open even more possibilities when it is complete in 2016. Easier access means more players and while high rollers play a big role in the Macau casino market, the big portion of the revenue comes from mass market segments.
Costs also go up
While the revenue is bigger, so are the costs required to keep the casinos running. Macau has just presented the Gaming Sector Survey for last year and it shows that operating expenses have gone up 24% in 2012, compared to 2011.
Workers are also paid better, with the average salary for casino employees going up 17%. This adds up to a total increase of 43% in average month earnings from 2004 to 2012. The employees also need to handle more customers with the increase in traffic so the pay rise is more than required.
The casinos are also looking for ways to grow and make the most of the increased number of players. Due to the regulations in Macau imposing a gaming table cap on casinos, more and more operators are beginning to focus on electronic games and slots have seen a significant surge in popularity. A total of $92 million were spent on gaming machines in 2012 by the casinos in Macau, by 82% more than in 2011. Basically everything is going up in Macau and the gambling capital of the world continues to get bigger and bigger every year.