The gross receipts of Macao's gaming and betting sector reached a record 46 billion patacas (US$575 million) in 2005, a year-on-year rise of 9 percent, local media reported Monday.
Macao's gaming sector, which comprises casinos, dog and horse races, and a string of lotteries, recorded gross receipts of 42.3 billion patacas (US$528 million) and 29.4 billion patacas (US$367 million) in 2004 and 2003 respectively, Macao Post Daily reported.
Macao, with a population of 480,000, has a 150-year history of gaming industry and is the only part of China where casino gaming is legitimate.
Direct tax paid by the previous 17 casinos dominates over 70 percent of the government's yearly revenue.
The 18th casino has been opened in Macao and the total number is expected to reach 20 within the next few weeks.
(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2006)