Gaming-related receipts in Macau rose 18.7% year-on-year to MOP268 billion ($33.2 billion) in 2017, according to the city state government’s latest Gaming Sector Survey.

In its press release, the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) noted that it was the first year-on-year increase since 2013. Much of the growth was “driven by the growth in VIP gaming business.”

Macau gaming receipts up 18.7% in 2017The figures affirm data that DSAC had released earlier this year showing the Special Administrative Region’s gross domestic product (GDP) was up 9.1% to MOP404.2 billion ($50 billion), its best economic output since 2013, when GDP grew 11.2%.

The latest data was collected from the 10 enterprises engaged in gaming activities, whose total expenditure amounted to MOP114.9 billion ($14.2 billion), 18.5% higher than in 2016. Of the total expenditure, the purchase of goods, commission paid and customer rebates increased 23% year-on-year to MOP60.9 billion ($7.5 billion), for 53% of total expenditures.

Operating expenses, on the other hand, amounted to MOP27.9 billion ($3.5 billion), up 16.7% year-on-year. Complimentary goods and services provided to customers constituted 45.1% of the total figure, or MOP12.6 billion ($1.6 billion). Management services and contractual services constituted 18.5% of operating expenses, or MOP5.2 billion ($642 million).

Compensation of employees went up 7.4% year on year, to MOP21.3 billion ($2.6 billion). Payouts made abroad rose 51.8% to MOP5.6 billion ($697 million).

Gross value added, measuring gaming’s contribution to Macau’s overall economy, reached MOP179 billion ($22.2 billion). “Concurrently, with the increase in Gross Value Added (+17.6%) far exceeding the rise in number of full-time employees (+1.5%), Average Value Added per Full-time Employee rose by 15.8% year on year to MOP3.16 million [$392,000],” the DSEC said.

The DSEC noted a tumble of 87.2% in gross fixed capital formation, to MOP949 million ($118 million), “following the completion of several large-scale tourism and gaming facilities in 2016.”

The DSEC cited information from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, showing that the number of gaming tables of Macau’s six casino concessionaires totaled 6,419, 2.1% more than last year. The number of slot machines went up 13%, to 15,622.