Macau

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that gross revenue from football betting increased by 15.5 percent year-on-year to MOP418 million (US$52.3 million), while basketball betting gross revenue reached MOP111 million in 2012, an increase of over 29 percent.  Meanwhile, gross revenue from horse racing betting dropped to MOP356 million, down 19.1 percent from 2011, and greyhound racing gross revenue dropped even further – by 31 percent, to MOP205 million.  Macau Slot – Sociedade de Lotarias e Apostas Mútuas de Macau Lda - runs non-racing sports betti

Shares in MGM China (2282:HK) jumped almost 6% last week after the announcement that the Macau government granted it approval for a new mega casino on the Cotai strip.  The project has a budget of around $2.5 billion, and the 17.8 acre site will include 1,600 hotel rooms, 500 gaming tables and 2,500 slots. MGM Resorts International chief executive Jim Murren expects profits of the subsidiary to more than double once the new property is online.

The table cap for operating properties - currently set at 5,500 for the 2011-12 biennium - shall be increased in 2013, the Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance said. Francis Tam Pak Yuen added that operators’ non-gaming facilities would be taken into account when deciding the number of tables to be allotted to new properties approved for Cotai. Wynn Macau (1928:HK), MGM China (2282:HK), SJM (880:HK) - and potentially Melco-Crown (Nasdaq: MPEL) under StudioCity - have projects in the pipeline.

 

 

Hong Kong-listed Sands China Ltd declared on Friday an interim dividend of HK$0.67 (USD$ 8.6) per share, payable on or about February 28. In January last year, the Macau-based gaming operator announced an interim dividend of HK$0.58 ($7.5) per share, its first ever. Three months later, Sands China’s board of directors recommended the payment of a final dividend of HK$0.58 per share for 2011.

 

In an interview with CNBC, the president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp, Michael Leven, said that he is bullish on the city’s gaming industry outlook and thinks that Macau could eventually hit gross gaming revenue of USD $100 billion per year.  Mr Leven was quoted as saying, “It will continue to grow, because as income grows in the mainland, it’s going to continue to feed people into Macau. There’s no risk that they won’t have considerable growth.”

 

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) is revamping its compliance procedures as it faces scrutiny from US regulators over anti-money laundering and bribery.  LVS announced that it is no longer making international money transfers for its high-end casino customers and is also planning to improve the background checks it does on VIP customers, as well retraining its staff on U.S. anti-bribery laws.

 

Sands China has not yet indicated where its 200 new tables will be allocated.  The head of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Manuel Joaquim das Neves, was quoted by Portuguese-language newspaper Ponto Final as saying: “The operator has to inform us where it is going to put the tables and when the tables will open. Afterwards, we will conduct an inspection.”  The company’s chief executive Edward Tracy said that some of the new tables would be made available in time for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on February 10.

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