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Las Vegas, struggling with the nation’s highest unemployment rate, continues to lag behind Macau in terms of gaming revenues, according to the latest data released by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.  The Chinese gaming hub already attracts most of the high rollers, and it is beginning to significantly diversify its customer base by attracting middle class consumers and bettors.

Revenues for July increased by 20 percent over June despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy.  Aside from the uptick in gaming revenue, spending associated with tourism, attractions, and merchandise have also increased in Macau, according to poker.co.uk.

According to industry experts, the local casinos’ investments in attractions and tourist destinations are turning Macau into a travel hot spot.  Additionally, shops are generating sales through big name merchandise which, despite a local 30 percent luxury tax, are cheaper to purchase in Macau than in Europe.

Thus, the city located just outside of Hong Kong is generating beyond wagering and betting.  Las Vegas, which now has about one-third the gambling revenue of Macau, continues to struggle amid the tough U.S. economy.  Casinos in Sin City have also struggled to recuperate billions of dollars invested in new properties.

In Macau, table game performance at sales per square foot are surging which leads to higher revenues.  Poker has also exploded in popularity in Asia, just as the game saw negligible growth in North America following the U.S. Department of Justice’s crackdown on online poker in 2011.

Some of the world’s top professional poker plays have taken residence in Macau, and that has fed the action in the live cash games and high buy-in tournaments.  It is estimated that Macau now rakes in about $30 billion in annual revenues from gaming, while Las Vegas (the world’s second largest betting hub) brings in about $10 billion per annum.