pril’s figure overtook the short-lived record of US$ 2.51 billion which was set in March.
In the last five months the local gaming industry has set four new monthly records.
It all started with US$ 2.36 billion posted in December. After a slight decline in January, the casinos were back on top in February with US$ 2.48 billion and tipped over the US$ 2.50 billion mark for the first time in March.
In late March, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Billy Ng predicted that revenue growth would remain strong during April. Unlike March, which had no public holidays and one fewer weekend, April had the Qing Ming festival holiday and five weekends, he was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
And hopes are high for this month as well, with gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment about to open its Cotai resort on May 15. The accumulated casino revenue so far in 2011 reached US$ 9.87 billion, up 43.3 % year-on-year. The local gaming sector has pocketed a daily average of US$ 81.61 million.
During the first four months the industry grew slower than in the entire year of 2010, when it reached a 57.8 % peak. Still, the MSAR casinos pocketed almost as much through the January-April period than in the whole of 2007. Four years ago, when the Venetian opened as the first Cotai resort, Macau’s gaming revenue topped US$ 10.37 billion. If the local industry maintains its performance, it would need just six days to equal the 2007 figure. It would also reach US$ 29.64 billion by the end of this year.
Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said last month in the Wall Street Journal that local gaming income could rise by up to 30 % to USD 30.6 billion this year, a prediction also made by several other analysts early this year.
Meanwhile, other gaming sector analysts contacted by Portuguese news agency Lusa forecast total gross revenue for 2011 of between US$ 31.86 billion and US$ 33.11 billion, 35 to 40 higher than last year.