Sands China <1928.HK>, the world's most valuable casino operator by market capitalization, said its 2009 net profit rose 22 percent from a year earlier, driven by a surge in gambling revenue in Macau.

The company said on Tuesday net profit for the year ended December rose to $213.8 million, compared with $175.7 million a year ago and a consensus forecast of $219.6 million from seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sands, 70-percent-owned by Las Vegas Sands , said net revenues rose 8.1 percent to $3.3 billion last year.

The casino operator run by billionaire Sheldon Adelson owns two casinos in Macau, including the Venetian Macau, the world's largest.

Gambling revenue in Macau reached a high of $1.8 billion in January, signaling sustained growth in the world's largest gambling market and the only place in China where gambling is legal.

On February 25, Wynn Macau <1128.HK> reported a near doubling of fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to $142 million, beating analysts' expectations.