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MGM Resorts exceeded analyst expectations by reporting a smaller loss in the fourth quarter, as its Grand Macau success outpaced losses in the rest of the world.

While Las Vegas continues to show minor and sporadic signs of recovery from the economic slump, the smart gambling money continues to focus its attention on Macau. MGM still holds out hope for a Vegas recovery — the $8.5 billion CityCenter project is tangible evidence of the company’s continuing faith. However, Macau’s gambling revenue was up nearly 60% last year, while desperate promotional offers and austerity measures in Vegas still resulted in only a 4.1% increase for the year.

Expansion continues on the 600-room casino resort, and MGM is planning a Hong Kong IPO for the Grand Macau 50-50 joint venture. MGM’s partner is Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau magnate Stanley Ho — Macau’s well-known “King of Gambling”.

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