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Macauís Casino Hub Sees Gold

Itís typical. Just last week we found ourselves musing in this column whether the Macau casino hub might not be the ideal pattern for the casino resorts to follow in the future. We thought (and weíre not alone, by the by) that the two casino resorts that are making a runaway success of themselves in Singapore might be the future of the casinos in Australia, too.

Itís an opinion shared by a majority of the boardroom at Crown, as well, if their pending name change is anything to go by: we can only assume that changing your name to Crown Resorts from Crown Casinos signals a change of focus. And then what did we see in the news this week?

The week-long Chinese national holiday that is called Golden Week (for reasons that will soon be clear) by the casino operators in the tiny enclave of Macau registered the biggest gaming revenues yet Ė a signal that 2013 could be another record-breaking year for the Macau casinos.

And no talk of shifting focus or providing extra entertainments and facilities, either: just more gaming tables and pokie machines. Apparently, itís expected that 170 tables will be added to the existing provision this year alone, taking the total up close to 6,000.

Thatís a lot of gaming tables, and theyíre all busy, judging by the revenue pouring into the Macau casinos. If spending continues through October at anything like the levels it has started the month, then itíll be a record month, topping the last high (in March this year) by 10%.

So thereís no sign of any slowing down in Macauís casinos. Maybe that goes some way to explaining the enthusiasm with which James Packerís Crown Resorts have been pursuing opportunities for new casino developments both here in Australia and all around the Pacific Rim. And maybe it gives us a hint as to the calculations behind the opening up of more Queensland licenses for casino resorts...

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