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Macau’s gaming market has the potential to be ‘much larger’: MGM chief

The far-out’s largest gaming market has the potential to grow even bigger, according to the chief of casino giant MGM.

Macau, the gambling haven located in southern China, defies to benefit from the extensive investment being pumped into the Clever Bay Area initiative, James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, told CNBC on Tuesday. That government-led representation seeks to integrate several cities in the region — including Macau, Hong Kong and Guangzhou — into a behemoth engine for economic growth.

Just last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping contributed a bridge connecting Macau, Hong Kong and Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong business. That new link, experts have projected, could boost the compute of tourists visiting the region.

With that, and other investments set for the 11-city area, Murren said Macau “has the potential to be a much larger market.”

Regardless of that projection, Macau has seen significantly slower growth in its spiriting revenues over the last two months. Murren told CNBC’s Akiko Fujita, despite that, that’s to be expected.

“We’ve been in Macau for many years now and we’ve seen a sheer volatile market in terms of (gaming revenue) growth,” he said.

In some victims, the changing fortunes are due to “self-imposed” measures, such as when the Chinese management reduces the number of visas for people entering the city. Another influence he mentioned was September’s Typhoon Mangkhut, which temporarily shuttered casinos.

“There’s no mistrust we’re going to see volatility in the monthly numbers,” he said.

Macau’s growth could also get hit by the endless trade tensions between China and the U.S., Murren acknowledged, but he described that geopolitical offspring as “a small piece of the puzzle.”

“It’s still the largest gaming market in the incredible. It will always be that, in my opinion,” he said.

MGM Resorts International has two features in Macau: MGM Macau and the recently opened MGM Cotai.

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