Macau, Las Vegas of the East
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Macau casino revenues hit a record $38 Billion in 2012. In December alone, Macau properties took in a record $3.5 Billion. These massive revenues reinforce the fact that Macau is not just the Las Vegas of the East but rather it is the new world leader in casinos gambling.
Until Western-style casino games were introduced in the 20th century, only Chinese games were played, the most popular being Fan-Tan. At present, there are 33 casinos in Macau. Twenty-three of these properties are on the Macau Peninsula and the other 10 are on Taipa Island. Up until 2002, the government held a monopoly on the casino industry and did not allow outside casino corporations the right to built a casino property in Macau. In 2002, the Macau government ended their monopoly on casinos and allow six new corporations to build casinos. This change in policy would ultimately lead to explosive casino growth and turn Macau into the “Las Vegas of the East.”
Gambling is illegal in China, even if you gamble on an online casinos at home could get yourself into trouble with the authority. So, Macau, being just 1 hour boat ride away from Shenzhen, has become the one stop gambling destination of the Chinese nation.
Several major players in the US casino industry have setup shops in Macau thanks to relaxed government regulations. The largest of those being the Venetian. The Venetian Macau opened in 2007 and instantly became the largest casino property in the world as well as the largest single structure hotel in all of Asia. The property boasts over 10.5 Million square foot of space that includes over 546,000 square ft. for the casino alone. In addition, the 3,000 room hotel makes it one of the largest casino resort properties in the world.
Much like Las Vegas, Macau has spent a lot of time focusing on creating gambling paradises for those wanting to play and stay in Macau. The new properties created after 2002 have all been casino resort properties that have focused on being bigger and more glamorous than properties in other parts of the world. Their focus has been to bring in high rollers from around the world with every type of gaming imaginable, including high stakes Texas Hold’em poker games.
The gamble by these companies have paid off huge. For example, the Sands Macau opened in 2004 and came at a cost of $265 Million. Amazingly, the company was able to recoup their costs in just a single year. To give you an idea of just how successful Macau casinos have become, the $38 Billion collected by Macau casinos in 2012 was higher than the total casinos revenue in 2011 for the entire United States.
The government’s decision to ease restrictions on outside casinos companies have lead to growth that few could have imagined. However, major casino companies have focused on creating a quality product for gamblers coming to Macau and the result has proven to pay off in spades.