There are quite a few ways we could describe Macau, but the best definition might be the gambler’s heaven, or something close to it. When going to Macau there is the guarantee to have a very pleasant time and a respected treatment like we don’t see in many places.
This small island in Asia that is now a part of China has the fame for being the best location in the world in what gambling is concerned, and for this to happen plays a big role the fact that gambling is a considerable part of the local economy.
Also, in historical terms, Macau has built a gambling reputation in the most diverse aspects of gambling, from poker to baccarat, or any other type of casino game. Being a Portuguese territory in the past makes Macau a mix of the European culture and the Asian one, with all the touristic attractions enhanced by that.
We can call Macau a gambling kingdom, and this kingdom has been growing since the 16th century as a Portuguese colony. It has over half a million population, is the country more densely populated, considering it has only a little over 30 square kilometers.
Legalization of gambling in Macau happened in the 19th century, back in 1847, but the first casino was just opened in 1937. It’s hard to talk about Macau without talking about Stanley Ho, as he is the main name of Macau gambling scene. He controlled gambling between 1961 and 2001, but currently, there are six operators that control the market, in a total of 44 casinos.
The demand for gambling was so high that Macau had to expand to the Cotai strip, land recovered from the swamp in an extension of 5.2 square kilometers. This expansion started in 2006, and the biggest casino there is the Venetian, a copy of the same named casino in Vegas.
Building the Venetian was an investment of just $2.4 billion, and along with this casino, there are seven other casinos and resorts being built, after which applications for casinos in Macau will be closed until 2025.
Issues and the future
Even in gambling heaven, there are issues, but just not the common ones maybe. Take for example that the main problem for the development of the industry is the lack of dealers and croupiers. The need for these professionals in 2017 is around 12,500 of them, but the local offer is just around 3000.
This wouldn’t be a problem in any other country, but the strict immigration policies prevent foreign dealers from being hired. Strikes are another problem these days, as the low wages have made the workers fight actively for their rights with all the issues and bad advertising this generates.
Macau is still one of the fastest growing markets worldwide, and in terms of comparison, we can note that back in 2006 generated five times more revenues than the ones made in Vegas. Why such a big difference Most revenues from Vegas come from the slots, while in Macau they come from the high rollers.
It’s not only gambling industry that prospers, also tourism grows and new initiatives in this area can make the economy of the island even stronger.