Macau received 31.5 million visitors last year, up 7.5 percent on the year before, according to the South China Morning Post citing official tourism statistics.
The rise in tourist numbers stand in stark contrast to Macau’s gross gambling revenues which fell for an eighth straight month in January by 17.4 percent.
"The gambling business went down in the second half of last year, but tourist numbers continued to increase," Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, tourist office director, told the Post.

The Russian government plans to shut three casinos in Azov City this year in a bid to strengthen the country’s other gaming zones.
The government will close the casinos, -- the Oracul, Shambala and Nirvana -- by April 1st, according to Russia’s state-news service Tass,
It is believed the government took the decision is to bolster the country’s other three gaming zones, including the one in Sochi, where the Summer Olympic Games were held , and in Crimea. Both regions became designated gaming zones in July .

Success Universe, which operates Casino Ponte 16, is interested in its own gaming licence, local media reports.
Executive director and deputy chairman Hoffman Ma Ho Man told the Hong Kong Economic Journal: “If there’s open bidding for a gaming licence, for sure we’ll be interested.”
Success runs Casino Ponte 16 as a satellite casino of gaming licence holder Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA
 

The rating on SkyCity Entertainment Group’s shares has been downgraded from hold to sell by analysts from Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners, reflecting doubt over whether the shares can offer a return.
The analysts cite the $1 billion required for the company’s Adelaide business and planned NZ International Convention Centre in Auckland as a risk.

Melco Crown Entertainment held the gala opening of its $1.3 billion City of Dreams integrated resort in Manila on Monday, saying it’s an important milestone for the company’s development in Asia.

AGB advisor Bill Bryson has joined consultancy firm Global Market Advisors, helping the company expand its range of advisory services on casino developments and other projects.

Bryson is one of Asia’s leading gaming and hospitality lawyers and is licensed in the U.S. He has been in Asia for 26 years and will be based in Taipei.

Macau’s Health Bureau (SSM) has fined local casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment for having a smoking zone in the mass gambling area of City of Dreams, triggering fresh debate in the media over smoking in casinos.

The Bureau said in a statement that given there were no ‘no smoking’ signs, being placed in the casino area as stipulated by law, the maximum penalty was imposed as a fine of MOP100,000.

According to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Macau recorded higher tourism receipts than Italy or the UK in 2013. 

International visitors to Macau spent $51.7 billion in 2013 – a 3.3 percent rise from the previous year – placing the former Portuguese colony fifth on the organization’s ranking of high-earning tourism destinations. The US ranked first, with $139.6 billion in tourism receipts, followed by Spain, France, and China. Macau beat out Hong Kong in the top 10, as well as Italy, Thailand, Germany, and the UK.

Shares in Macau casinos were higher Tuesday with analysts taking note of improving gross gaming revenue (GGR) data, hinting that the free fall of last year may now be past.

Media reports noted GGR for table games in the week ending Jan 25 had risen 6.0 per cent pointing to a “stabilization” after the visit last month by President Xi Jinping.

But as Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts noted, the measure was still down 7.0 percent compared with a year ago.

Philippines-based Bloomberry Resorts Corp, operator of the Solaire casino, says it is looking to develop a casino and entertainment complex in South Korea with the purchase of property in the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

The 12.2 hectare property is located on the Muii Island, which is west of Seoul and accessible by boat.

Bloomberry Resorts, led by ports magnate, Enrique Razon, said the property is to be purchased through its Korean subsidiary, Solaire Korea Co., Ltd.

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