PacificNet (PACT.PK) has acquired an additional 6% interest in PacificNet Games Limited, bringing its total ownership to 51%.
In September 2006, PacificNet opened an office in Macau to focus on the rapidly expanding gaming and entertainment industries in that region.
"This additional investment in PacGames enhances PacificNet's entry into the new high-margin gaming technology business," said Tony Tong, Chairman and CEO of PacificNet. "In recent board and management meetings, we evaluated the early success of our gaming technology operation and were very satisfied with the rapid progress and financial performance of the gaming operation. The board of directors and management team has approved our new strategy to focus on the rapidly growing gaming market in greater China, Macau, and Asia."
Macau is one of the fastest-growing gaming markets in the world and is predicted to surpass Las Vegas in total revenues by 2007. According to recent statistics provided by Macau government, in 2005, Macau's gaming revenues reached US$5.8 billion, second only to Las Vegas gaming revenues of US$6 billion. Macau borders Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province of China, one of the country's wealthiest and most developed regions and is an hour away from Hong Kong via ferry.
The number of tourists visiting Macau reached 18.7 million in 2005, of which 56% or 10.5 million visitors were from mainland China. By 2010, the number of tourists is expected to double to nearly 30 million visitors per year.