As a truly international mobile casino news site, we often come across stories from various parts of the world that are entirely newsworthy, even if they do not necessarily cover one of the main markets. This story in particular covers Macau, to many the pinnacle of online gambling. While many still consider Las Vegas to be the spiritual home of the world’s gambling, the statistics do not lie. Macau’s gambling revenues jumped by a full 14% in 2012 to a record high of $38 billion. This is more than five times the revenue generated in Las Vegas over the same period.
The development also involves Citic Telecom, one of the largest mobile communications providers in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region. They recently paid $1.16 billion for 79% of Macau based mobile operator CTM, a move driven almost exclusively by the demand in the region for mobile casino gaming opportunities. To put this figure in context, it is the largest acquisition in the history of Macau outside the gambling industry itself.
The driving force behind the selection of CTM as an acquisition target is the increasing demand among residents and visitors for high speed access to the latest and greatest mobile casino games. The company holds a government awarded monopoly on much of Macau’s telecommunications industry, with only mobiles themselves excluded. However, such is their brand power in the region that many residents choose to incorporate their mobile service into their overall package.
The demand for such services in the area is huge. Macau is the only part of China that explicitly permits gambling in any form, making it a favoured spot of many from the region for enjoying land based casino games. However, an increasing demand for mobile access to games spurred huge growth in the industry as a whole. Indeed, a stunning fact about Macau is that the area has a population of around 550,000 people, but there are more than 1.6 million mobile phones.
We regularly advise mobile casino players that while data charges for mobile casino gaming can be somewhat minimal on a per hand or per spin basis, they can add up and it is always wise to factor mobile gaming into choosing a mobile contract. If Citic Telecom can work out the right contract to appeal to the thousands of gamblers in the region, then the deal for CTM will look like an absolute bargain. The financial markets, which are always a good indicator of general confidence in the viability of a deal, welcomed the news. Citic Telecom’s share price jumped to a high of a 22% gain on the day of the deal, eventually closing at a still respectable 13% gain.
The overall story demonstrates that there is much more to the growth of the mobile casino industry than simply increased investment in mobile casinos and software providers. As the mobile sector continues to grow, other industries such as telecommunications will grow with it.
Players that are reading this from Macau, or are planning to visit soon, will be pleased to know that some of our most highly recommended international mobile casinos operate in the area, with All Slots Mobile, Royal Vegas Mobile and Platinum Play Mobile all welcoming players in the region. You can also find out more about mobile gaming in Macau on our dedicated resource page.