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The tiny island of Macau posted staggering revenue growth in 2011, as the amount collected solely in gaming taxes in Macau is soon expected to be greater than Las Vegas' combined gaming revenues. According to S&P credit analyst Joe Poon, the analyst firm's base-case forecast for the Macau gaming market "is growth in gross gaming revenue of 10 per cent-15 per cent in 2012."
According to data revealed last week by the Statistics and Census Bureau, Macau's economic dependence on gaming has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2010, the relative importance of gaming to Macau's gross domestic product skyrocketed by 8.9 percentage points year-on-year, to 40.9 percent. The Census Bureau said gaming's weight in the local economy increase to 92.6 percent in 2010 from 89.1 percent in the previous year.
Meanwhile in the United States, Florida continues to make strides to become a gaming hotbed. A proposal set to be taken up by the state legislature when it returns to session could allow three Vegas-style casinos to be built in the southern part of Florida. State Senator John Thrasher (R-Jacksonville) remains less-than enthusiastic, however. He says the bill is a bad idea for Florida not only in the year to come, but in the years ahead.
Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, notes that "Florida is considered the fourth-largest gambling state in the nation, but it has let the industry drive policy decisions, and that has produced the worst kind of gaming." Bernstein Research, a leading watcher of gambling stocks, reported last year that "there is currently $3.4 billion of gaming occurring in Florida or $7.4 billion if one includes the lottery."
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