Macau to lead the way in Asia’s gaming boom: industry

SINGAPORE, July 24, 2006 (AFP) – Casino gaming is increasingly accepted as a revenue stream for Asian governments and the sector is set to continue growing phenomenally with Macau leading the way, industry players said Monday.

From Australia to Singapore and other Asian countries, the region’s governments now recognise that integrated gaming “resorts”, offering casino facilities alongside entertainment and retail venues, are the way to attract more tourists and boost economic growth, they said.

“No longer is gaming considered a sin or a vice or a magnet for illegal activity. Gone is its reputation as a business operated by unsavoury characters,” said Mark Advent, chairman of Eighth Wonder, a privately-held gaming company based in Las Vegas.

“It is recognised that gaming in a competitive environment will stimulate economies, stabilize and grow tourism, and create an unprecedented excitement and a ‘buzz’ that is hard to compete with,” Advent said.

“There will be increasingly more opportunities presenting themselves and Singapore and Asia are destined to become a force to reckon with in gaming-related tourism.”

Advent and other speakers were upbeat on the gaming industry’s growth prospects in Asia with t