Industry bullish on Macau
Casino industry leaders believe Asia’s gambling markets could overtake the United States in as little as three years, according to a survey of attendees at this week’s Global Gaming Expo in Macau.
About two-thirds of those polled said U.S. casino revenue would be eclipsed by Asia in three to five years.
“The growth of the market in Asia has been incredible,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, head of the American Gaming Association, which co-produces the annual trade show.
The survey also said Macau would remain the region's dominant market, while some expected Japan to steal the No. 2 spot from Singapore even though the country is still debating whether to legalize casinos.
In 2009, Macau’s took in US$14.5 billion, primarily from wealthy Chinese gamblers wagering huge sums on baccarat. The entire U.S. market took in $30.7 billion.
In May, Macau’s gambling win soared 95 percent year over year and shows no signs of slowing.
CLSA gaming analyst Aaron Fischer said he expected Macau tourism to increase about 10 percent annually with construction of several stalled casino developments being restarted.
Other Asian countries have keyed in to Macau's success with Singapore opening two multibillion-dollar casino resorts this year second casino in April as part of a bid to lure big spenders from across the region.
An expected growth in the number of Asian multimillionaires and middle class following the region's sharp rebound from the economic slump should drive regional travel, including gambling, observers have said.