BUSINESS

Macau revenue reports surpass analysts’ expectations; lawmakers look to increase minimum gambling age

TAGs: Macau, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Union Gaming Research Macau

MacauThe impressive gross gaming revenue results posted by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau yesterday have far surpassed analysts’ expectations, Macau Business reports, so much so that they may lead some to review their estimates for the whole year.

The results demonstrated a MOP24.29 billion (US$3 billion) gross gaming revenue profit for local casinos last month, which was up by 22.3% year-on-year.

In response to the positive results, Union Gaming Research Macau wrote in an industry research note: “We believe consensus expectations for February gross gaming revenue were approximately MOP22 billion, while actual results came in 10% higher.”

“In our opinion, a strong February jibes with recent comments we’ve heard across the industry that internal expectations are beginning to shift from a market-wide growth forecast of 15% to 20% [for the whole of 2012], to becoming more inline with our forecast of 20% plus.”

Union Gaming added that if momentum carries forward, March gross gaming revenue growth should be around 28%, with April, too, posting a possible increase of over 20%.

However, news that lawmakers in the city are pushing for the government to implement a gambling ban on casino workers could mean bad news for Macau’s booming casino industry. This ban would seek to reduce the risk of problem gambling, a report by Macau Business has stated.

Government representatives are discussing the bill to increase the minimum gambling age from 18 to 21. Meeting with members of the first standing committee of the Legislative Assembly, lawmakers said the government should liaise with the six gaming companies on how to restrict their employees from entering any of Macau’s casinos to reduce problem gambling.

If passed, will this prove detrimental for Macau’s escalating revenue records?

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