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Macau to eclipse last year; Junket operators increase; Melco Crown hits new high

TAGs: junkets, Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment

macau casino stripA scholar has added to the constant tide of praise surrounding the largest gaming destination on the planet by stating that revenue figures will eclipse last year’s total in 2012. In an interview with TDM, Davis Fong said: “Based on last year’s MOP268 billion patacas, we think in 2012 the overall gross gaming revenue will reach MOP300 million.”

In USD that $37.5bn and it’s expected that once Sands Cotai Central opens the figure will be even higher still.

Junket operators are at their highest level to date with the enclave continuing to count on VIPs for much of its revenue. Figures quoted by Macau Business show there are 219 licenced junkets working in the enclave. This is an increase of 13% from the previous year and still higher than the record – 186 in 2007. The figure means there are six licenced junkets for every casino operating in Macau.

Melco Crown Entertainment hit its top level in around three months after Macau-based analysts projected the enclave’s highest ever growth. American depository receipts for the firm increased 6.8% to $12.06 and at one point in the day they’d even risen as high as  $12.18 – a rise of 7.9%. The rise was triggered by yesterday’s projection by Union Gaming Analyst Grant Govertsen that the city could break its own revenue record this month. Vegas must be thinking, “as if they needed a kick up the backside!” Govertsen also added that table occupancy has been high since the Chinese New Year holiday started on January 23.

Company shares were recently floated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it was the same story there as they gained 2.6% to close at HK$29.35. US analyst David Bain, from California-based Sterne Agee & Leach Inc also restated his “buy” recommendation for the firm’s shares and even set a 12-month price target of $21.50. That would really crown off the current year for the JV.

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