|According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in Macau, predicted total casino revenues for the year rose 46.5 percent and should reach ten billion dollars.|
The Xinhua news agency reported that revenues for the enclave have risen thanks to the opening in December of the Las Vegas-style MGM Grand Macau casino, which recorded gross receipts of $6.6 million in its first two days of operations.
The predictions come despite an increase in casino tax by 48 percent for the first seven months of 2007. Official statistics released previously show gaming taxes collected for the first eleven months of the year exceeded those for the whole of last year by 34.9 percent with direct gaming accounting for 71.4 percent of the Government's total revenues. A senior official for the Bureau stated that gross receipts from casinos were expected to reach $1.03 billion for December.
The opening of the MGM Grand saw the number of casinos in Macau rise to 28, which includes the Macao Palace floating casino currently closed for renovation. The number of casinos combined with Macau’s proximity to Hong Kong, which is only an hour by high-speed ferry, saw the former Portuguese colony beat the Las Vegas Strip last year in terms of gaming revenue.