Macau, China, 11 Jan – Receipts from Macau’s casinos will show a year-on-year increase of 12 percent in 2006 to reach a value of 50 billion patacas, the Lusa news agency reported Wednesday.
Gross receipts from the Special Administrative Region’s gaming sector in 2005 totaled 44.7 billion patacas.
The number of casinos in Macau rose to 25 by the close of last year with the opening of four new operations by the Galaxy concession, two by Stanely Ho’s SJM and one by Wynn resorts.
Despite strong competition from Las Vegas and Hong Kong operators, Ho’s SJM still holds a 75 percent share of Macau’s gaming industry.
Ho enjoyed a monopoly on Macau’s casinos from 1962 until 2000 when the current government liberalized the sector. The first non-SJM casino opened in 2004.
The Chinese enclave city’s gaming sector provides 15,000 jobs, set to rise to 25,000 at the end of this year, and remains one of the main employers in Macau.
About 18.7 million visitors, mainly from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, were registered in Macau in 2005, an annual increase of 12.2 percent. (macauhub)