acau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, boosted gambling revenue 58 % to US$ 23 billion last year, more than four times that of the US$5.62 billion for the Las Vegas Strip, according to government data.
The increase in February is “much higher than we expected,” said Aaron Fischer, a Hong Kong-based analyst at CLSA. “Spending on highly discretionary consumer categories such as gaming and luxury goods has been extremely strong in greater China over the last few months.”
Billionaire Stanley Ho’s SJM climbed 8.2 % to US$150 at the close in Hong Kong trading. Sands China, the Hong Kong-listed unit of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas-based company, rose 2.9 % to US$ 236
Wynn Macau gained 2.4 % to US$269 and Galaxy Entertainment Group advanced 11.2 % to US$139. Melco International Development, which has a venture with Australian billionaire James Packer’s Crown, climbed 5.3 % to US$64.
Stanley Ho’s daughter Pansy Ho has a closely held joint venture with Kirk Kerkorian’s MGM Resorts International.
Macau’s visitor arrivals rose 1.4 % to 2.1 million in January, with more than half coming from mainland China, according to the city’s tourism agency.
Gambling revenue for the Chinese city’s six casinos reached US$48 billion in the first two months of 2011, 40% higher than a year ago, the bureau said.