There has been increasing concern in Macau over the reliance of the Chinese Special Administrative Region on revenue from gambling. Macau is the only area in China where gambling is legal and so millions of Chinese players regularly travel to Macau to gamble. This influx of Chinese gamblers fuels the basis of the Macau economy. Growth in income from casinos is still strong in spite of a downturn in the Chinese economy.
There had been the fear that the slow down in Chinese exports due to the economic situation in Europe and the rest of the world would have a knock on effect on the amount of money available to Chinese gamblers. However this has not been the case and Chinese gamblers continue to travel to Macau and spend there in the several luxurious casino resorts developed by major players in the international land based casino industry.The authorities in Macau have tried to diversify industries in the region since it is felt that there has been an over reliance on revenue from gambling by Chinese players. The Chinese government has also been concerned by this dependence on casino income from Chinese gamblers and has encouraged the Macau authorities to diversify.
One measure undertaken by the Chinese has been to restrict the number of visas to Macau granted to Chinese citizens. Such a measure was imposed in 2009 but the restrictions ended in 2010 and growth in casino revenue in Macau continued to increase. With the recent changes in the Chinese government it had been feared that the new regime would once again introduce visa restrictions in the hope that the Macau economy could develop a broader income basis.So far there has not been a reduction in the number of visas granted and it is expected that the Chinese regime will concentrate on working with the Macau authorities to develop the entertainment and retail industries.
In an effort to do this over the past few years there has been an agreement that the casino resorts developed in Macau had to have a large amount of space devoted to retail outlets and entertainment facilities. The major casino resorts in Macau include developments by SJM Holdings, Sands, Wynn and MGM. Due to the attraction of these casino resorts, Macau is the world leader in gaming even surpassing Las Vegas.