Macau, the world’s gambling capital, posted annual gambling revenues of $38 billion during 2012, up 13.5% over 2011 when revenues climbed 42.2%. The slowdown in growth is attributed to a variety of factors such as slowing economic growth in China, increased regulatory supervision of fund transfers and lower spending by VIP (read: high roller) customers during the year. The 2012 numbers were helped in no small measure by the strong growth of 19.6% in December revenues due to higher visitation numbers during the holiday season. Growth is going to be challenging for casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) and MGM (NYSE:MGM) given that current casino capacities are maxed out and no new supply is seen to open during the next two years. New anti-smoking regulations that kick in during 2013, and heightened competition from Asian operators such as Galaxy Entertainment Group are other negatives to watch.
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Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) agrees with Elsa Peretti to continue selling her jewelry through a 20-year licensing contract. Tiffany will make a once-off payment of $47 million and periodic royalties for exclusive rights to Peretti’s designs, including renowned pieces such as “Diamonds by the Yard,” and much sought after heart and bean-shaped pendants. Elsa Peretti jewelry accounts for about 10% of Tiffany and Co’s annual sales.
Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced today that third-party sellers operating on its platform had a record-breaking holiday season in 2012, with businesses in the US alone accounting for 40% year-on-year growth. According to the company, its innovative fulfilment service, Fulfilment by Amazon, saw rapid adoption by third party sellers around the world while its numerous other e-commerce services helped sellers to set records in sales volume, traffic and services performance.