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Macau Casinos Generate $37.6 Billion In Gambling Revenue In 2018

The World's Largest Gambling Market Grew 14 Percent Last Year


A strong December performance helped Macau casinos end the year on a high note as the world’s largest gambling market continued to grow.

With a 16.6 percent increase in December’s year-over-year haul, Macau experienced a 14 percent overall jump in revenue for 2018, alleviating concerns that President Trump’s ongoing trade war with China would hurt growth.

The former Portuguese colony is in the middle of a 29-month stretch of year-over-year growth. In total, Macau casinos brought in $302.85 billion patacas, or $37.6 billion during 2018. That’s nearly four times the amount of revenue that the second biggest gaming market, Las Vegas, brought in.

After posting a peak of $45 billion in revenue during 2013, Macau went through a three-year stretch of decline. Industry experts said the city was too reliant on gambling, specifically from high rollers, and has responded by offering more entertainment options.

The number of visitors to Macau is also up, albeit modestly. The $18.7 billion, 34-mile Hong Kong – Zuhai – Macau bridge, which opened in late October, has helped Macau with short-term visitors who would otherwise rely on ferries to get across.

According to International Monetary Fund’s July 2018 World Economic Outlook Update, Macau is expected to bypass Qatar as the richest region in the world. The report predicts the region will have a per capita GDP equivalent of $143,000 by 2020.