ust one of Macau's casino groups, SJM, owned by the billionaire Stanley Ho, pulled in more revenue than the entire Las Vegas strip. Proprietary traders should welcome tougher FSA testsAnother company, Sands China, recorded a 329 % rise in profit in the first six months of the year.
Macau's takings have soared as inflation has turned the return on Chinese bank deposits negative. With Chinese inflation due to hit 4% this month, and with bank savings rates only 2.5 %, more and more high-rollers are choosing to gamble their money rather than watch the value of their savings be eaten away.
The negative returns on Chinese bank savings have also helped to create huge bubbles in property, tea, fine wine and jade. "The situation is likely to fuel domestic spending and investment on all fronts, not just a visit to casinos in Macau," said Desmond Lam, a professor at the University of Macau.
"However, past research has shown that mainland Chinese tend to come to Macau to gamble to win – winning money is very important for them – and are serious about it. "This is unlike many players from Hong Kong or Macau, who claimed to gamble more for leisure or entertainment."
Of the 685,000 visitors to the island last month, 70 % were from mainland China, according to the local government. And the most popular game was Baccarat, James Bond's game of choice, which accounted for almost three-quarters of casino revenue. "The game has characteristics that fit those that Chinese players are seeking," said Lam. "You can play big and play fast," he added.