Macau: The Gambling Capital of the World
Macau for context
Macau is a small city in China, about the size of Manhattan. It used to be a Portuguese colony until 1999 when it became a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Owing to its small geographical area, one would never imagine that this little island city could generate over 50% of all the gambling revenue generated globally.
Today, Macau is known as the Las Vegas of Asia. Some may call it “Sin City,” but that’s not quite right. Macau isn’t a place where people go to commit sins, but instead, it is a place of leisure and entertainment.
Macau has over nine times the population of Las Vegas with countless times more visitors. People travel to Macau from all parts of the world to experience a different form of entertainment altogether.
Macau is known for its casinos and many multi-billion dollar resorts. But in recent years, it has also grown into an international tourism destination with many museums, art galleries, parks, and other attractions established.
With leisure and entertainment as its main industry, Macau has become a wealthy city that exports goods worldwide. With billions of dollars in revenue being generated every year, many people come in hopes of turning a profit – both from offering services and gambling.
Let’s explore how this small city has become the global leader in gambling revenue.
How did Macau become the Gambling Capital of the World?
In the past, Macau was best known for its Portuguese culture. Due to a trade agreement between Portugal and China, Macau became an outlet mall where goods were shipped from mainland China to a place where they could be bought at lower prices. After changing hands a few times in 1999, China took the ownership of Macau and gave the people their freedom to self-govern. In 2002, Macau became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China which allowed them to continue with their language and culture in exchange for being under the rule of Beijing.
Since it entered China, Macau has evolved quickly and is now recognized as the world’s gambling capital.
Macau is such a big part of gambling revenue because the Chinese government does not allow casinos within its borders, they allow visas to be provided to those willing to gamble in Macau. As a result, many people from mainland China travel across the border for a weekend of gambling and entertainment. With so much money traveling across the border, it’s no wonder Macau is racking up such insane revenues.
Another reason Macau generates so much revenue off of gambling iis the thrill of an unknown place, offering a form of escape. With a casino right next door in Hong Kong (a place that many mainlanders are already used to traveling to), Macau has become the first place many people think of when they want to gamble and experience other forms of entertainment not present in Hong Kong.
With gambling revenue being so high, it is no surprise that some of the world’s richest men have taken notice. Steve Wynn (a casino mogul) has plans for a 2.5 billion dollar casino resort, and Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of The Venetian in Las Vegas, has built his own $1.8 billion resort in Macau.
Interesting Facts about Macau: The Gambling Hub of the World
With so many people traveling to Macau, it’s hard not to notice that they’re all having a great time. Macau has become a place full of energy where people go for relaxation and entertainment; to escape their lives.
When entering any casino, you will be surrounded by sights and sounds never seen or heard before, guaranteeing to grab your attention. You’ll see drinks more expensive than the ones in the United States, chips being poured into a betting table by scantily clad cocktail waitresses, and of course, people dropping wads of cash onto slot machines.
One of Macau’s main attractions is the Venetian. This resort has everything you’d expect to find in Las Vegas and even more. The Venetian holds many restaurants across its various floors, all offering different types of cuisine for all budgets. There is something for everyone from your local Chinese restaurant to a five-star steakhouse with prices to match. Everything in Macau is being built with tourists in mind so that you can be sure of one thing – you’ll find a variety of food anywhere.
Many smaller casinos around town aren’t quite as big as the Venetian but still offer similar experiences for much lower costs.
The casinos usually have live music or karaoke and are a great place for some Chinese entertainment while you’re in Macau.
Macau is the gambling capital of the world, but there’s more to it than just that. Sightseeing is easily accessible from Macau making it an easy trip for anyone who would like to experience some of the world’s most unique cultures and have a fun vacation away from home! It’s a city full of energy encompassing all walks of life, so if you enjoy dancing, shopping, gambling, or just sightseeing, Macau is definitely the place to go.
What the Future Holds:
Macau’s rapid growth has not come without obstacles. The Chinese government is concerned about all the money flowing into Macau and what that might mean for China in the long run. With more casinos and resorts being built, they are worried that even more people will be tempted to travel outside their country and spend money they aren’t supposed to be spending.
So far, the Chinese government has kept a careful watch over Macau and tried to control the situation quietly. For example, in August of last year, they announced that all visitors must exchange 100 US dollars into Macau’s legal currency known as Patacas before they are allowed to gamble (in an attempt to make it harder for money to be smuggled out of China). In addition, it has been made mandatory that visitors will only be allowed to gamble a certain amount of money over the course of 10 days.
Finally, the Chinese government is working on regulations that allow some casinos to open within mainland China. It hasn’t been determined when this might happen, but many are anxiously awaiting the day. I believe this might be the best solution for all involved, especially since the newly-elected president of China, Xi Jinping, was once a member of Macau’s government.
It is hard to say what the future holds for Macau. However, one thing seems certain: the rapid growth of gambling revenue will continue into the foreseeable future. As long as Mainland Chinese are allowed a visa to travel (and gamble) in Macau, we can expect the influx of visitors and revenue inflow to only increase from here on out.