4 Jan 2011

Macau gambling at record high

6:54 am on 4 January 2011

Casino gambling revenue in Macau reached a record high in 2010.

The Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau says revenue totalled $US23.5 billion, up 57% on the previous year.

The BBC reports earnings have been driven by an influx of gamblers from mainland China.

Macau - a former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999 - is the only Chinese city where gambling is legal. It opened its gambling industry to foreign competition in 2002.

In 2007, gambling revenue there overtook that of the Las Vegas Strip in the United States.

As well as an annual record, gambling revenue also set a monthly record in December 2010 of $US2.36 billion - up 66% year on year.