Macau Casinos Resisting the Worldwide Economic Crisis

MacauThe casino industry in Macau continues to grow despite the worsening economic situation in certain parts of the world. Revenue from casinos in 2011 was over 30 billion dollars and the percentage increase year on year continues to grow. The opening up of the market to competition with the ending of the state monopoly on gambling in 2002 meant that the major American casino operators opened huge entertainment complexes in Macau.
Macau was a Portuguese colony for centuries until in 1999 it became part of the Chinese Republic. In the mid 19th century the Portuguese government legalised gambling in Macau and the gaming houses were licensed. In 1962 the “Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes” was granted the monopoly over all gambling in Macau and this continued until 2002. Casino games were introduced in the early 20th century and when the market opened up in 2002 the major American casino businesses with casinos in Las Vegas opened sumptuous casinos in Macau, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Mirage are among these huge entertainment complexes which have added to the growth of tourism in particular gaming tourism to Macau. (See Article: Hong Kong Players Rush to Macau Casinos). The Venetian Macau is the world’s largest casino with 3400 slot machines and 800 gaming tables. It also offers a hotel with 3000 rooms, restaurants, a convention centre, shopping and a large sports and entertainment arena. These casinos offer roulette, blackjack, baccarat, Sic Bo, keno, slot machines and poker among other games. The casinos are regulated and licensed.The casino industry in Macau represents a good investment opportunity. In the last year revenue from the Macau casinos far outstripped that of gambling centres like Las Vegas and rose by over 40%. In fact Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as one of the world’s leading gambling centres. There is also the potential for growth in the areas of hospitality, retail and entertainment around the casino industry. A new entertainment complex Sands Cotai Central is due to open in spring 2012.

The growth of internet gaming is also making its presence felt in Macau where although tourism linked to gaming is growing there has been an effect on numbers in land based casinos from players using the internet to gamble. Macau does not yet have regulations governing internet gambling although given the growth of this area it is likely to consider this in the near future. Stanley Ho, who through his company controlled Macau’s casino industry for almost 40 years has already moved into online gaming.

With over 25 casinos and possibly more to open the casino industry in Macau offers investment opportunities and a potential for growth in these difficult economic times.

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