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Gaming Expo opens in Macau amid Slowing Chinese Growth

Leaders from all walks of the Casino industry met Tuesday at the Global Gaming Expo Asia in Macau. Held within the prominent Venetian Macau hotel, the event features three days of the industry’s most innovative technologies, services, and products.

While the economy is slowing, gambling is holding strong.

Regardless of the apparent slowing of Chinese economic growth, the Asian gambling industry has remarked substantial growth, particularly in the former Portuguese colony in Macau. Both the first and last European Colony in China, Macau now boasts 5 times the casino revenue of Las Vegas.

Asia’s fervent appetite for gambling is fueling the industry and now other nations beyond China are looking to capitalize on the pastime. Following the trend, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines look to erect mega-resorts in each’s respective locality within the near future.

President of the American Gambling Association launched the event in Macau, remarking that even though there is apparent downturn in China’s growth, the industry should still enjoy a modest 7.5% in growth. However, the Hong Kong stock exchange has held the attention of many casino owners as shares continue to fall.

Five resorts now dot the Macau coastline with that number expected to double within the next ten years. Standard & Poor’s assessment of the situation led the agency to release a warning of “medium-term risks” for gaming companies located in mainland Asia as well as the Pacific region.

To put things in perspective shares of some of the industry leaders operating in the area, including Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, and Sands China have marked shares dropping up to 20% in value since the end of April.

As many as six firms are currently granted license to operate in Macau, the only locality in China which allows gambling.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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