BOSTON ( The Street Ratings) -- Even as Las Vegas builds up, American's gambling capital has lost out to Macau.
Macau, an autonomous territory facing the South China Sea, has become a major driver of revenue for many U.S.-based casino operators, which have wisely expanded overseas. Macau gaming revenue has set records each month, with April's $2.6 billion marking a 45% percent increase from a year earlier. Its casino revenue will probably grow 35% to about $32 billion this year, according to estimates by CLSA Asia Pacific Markets.
Las Vegas, while a more mature market, has been on the mend since the fallout from the recession. Visits to Las Vegas increased by 5.6% in March (helped by a 10% jump in convention attendance), with gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip up nearly 13% since last year. At the end of 2010, national accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that Las Vegas gaming revenue should return to pre-recession levels by 2014.
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