What Makes Macau Such an Infamous Attraction?
Millions of gamblers and tourists arrive at Macau every year, not only to visit its ancient buildings and magnificent infrastructure being built by the Portuguese during colonial times, but also to try out their luck with the hope to strike Mega Jackpots in some of the most renowned casinos in the world. In Macau, gambling and tourism industry is by far the most important economic sector that makes up approximately 50% of of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”). The gambling industry is Macao has a long traceable historical path ever since being legalised in 1850s by the Government of Portuguese during colonial times.
This is Where the Gambling Kingdom Begins…
In order to increase revenue collection of the island country, hundreds of Fan Tan Houses (Chinese-style gambling dens) were then established under a licensing mechanism brought by the Government of Macau in the late 19th century. Subsequently, a monopoly concession for casino operation was granted to Tai Heng Company representing a significant milestone for the local gambling industry. However, the development in Macau’s gambling industry still remained at a moderate level mainly due to Tai Heng’s conservative operational strategy.
Formation of the Pre-mature Gambling Industry in Macau
In 1962, a major breakthrough was seen in the local gambling industry when monopoly rights for casino operations were granted by the local authority to Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (“STDM”), marking a big step forward for the local casino industry. STDM is a syndicate jointly incorporated by businessmen from Hong Kong and Macau. Some significant developments brought by STDM include:
- introducing western-style casino games in Macau;
- enhanced and modernised the marine transportation between Macau and Hong Kong, resulting in millions of visitations from Hong Kong on an annual basis.
The Liberalisation of the Macau’s Gambling Industry
STDM had its monopolised casino operations in the island country until 2001, before another 6 casino operating licenses were granted to the following syndicates:
- Sociedade de Jogos Macau
- Wynn Resorts
- Las Vegas Sands
- Galaxy Entertainment Group
- MGM Mirage & Pansy Ho Chiu-King (partnership)
- Melco and PBL (partnership)
There is a Wide Array of Gambling Products in Macau
In Macau, the core gambling activities are generally divided into four main categories, namely casino games, greyhound racing, sports betting, and lottery, all of which are carried out under the green light from the local authority. Nevertheless, gambling activities in the form of online casino are still prohibited at present time.
A Quick Glance at Macao’s Casinos
Currently, there are total 33 casinos in Macau, of which 24 casinos are located on the Macau Peninsula while another 11 casinos are loaded on Taipa Island. The list of casinos in Macau are set out as below:
Casino Marina at Taipa
Diamond Casino at Holiday Inn
Galaxy Cotai Mega Resort, Cotai
Galaxy Grand Waldo, Cotai
Galaxy Waldo Hotel and Casino
Greek Mythology Casino
Jai Alai Casino
Kam Pik Casino
Kingsway Hotel & Casino
MJC Casino, Taipa
New Century Hotel & Casino
The Legend Club
The Venetian Macao, Cotai strip