Las Vegas vs Macau on the Casino Gambling Market

6 April 2012 – By Cristian Dragomir

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Macau and Las Vegas represent the biggest markets for the online and land-based gambling industry. The rivalry between these two locations is known throughout the whole world and the sure winners of this competition are gambling fans that have the opportunity to benefit from great games, promotions and other special offers that they couldn’t find in other areas.

Macau opened its doors to foreign casino operators in 2001 and since then, Las Vegas’ big rival has steadily built its reputation. 2006 was the year Macau registered $ 6.87 billion in gambling revenues, overtaking its American rival that gathered $ 6.69 billion. The “Special Administrative Region” of Macau is situated 40 miles west of Hong Kong and borders southern China’s Guangzhou province. Like Hong Kong, Macau was handed back to the Chinese People’s Republic by its European colonists Portugal and since 1999 casinos have popped up all over the tiny peninsula and its islands. Beginning the tradition that exists today, the Portuguese legalized gambling in Macau in the mid-19th century. As gambling was forbidden in mainland China and Hong Kong, Macau became the natural place for people to place their bets. Most of the casinos in Macau operate in Hong Kong Dollars rather than Pataca, the local currency, another proof that Macau has always been more conducive to foreign influence.

In present day, the Special Administrative Region of Macau host 28 casinos and the biggest one is the Venetian Macau, unveiled in August 2007 and owned by the Las Vegas Sands hotel chain. The Venetian Macau is modeled on the casino with the same name in Las Vegas but is significantly larger in comparison. The Venetian Casino in Macau is the third-largest building in the world in terms of floor area with a surface of 10.5 million square feet. There are other casinos in Macau which originate in Las Vegas, including the Wynn Macau or the Sands Macau.

More than twenty-two million tourists from all over the world visited Macau last year and is expected that the number will exceed forty million within five years. Also, the gambling revenue increased to an estimated $ 10.3 billion last year, meaning Macau has definitely surpassed its American rival.

Despite Macau’s success, Las Vegas is far from dead. With a metropolitan area of almost two million and a reputation of tourist and gambling destination, Las Vegas still has more casinos than Macau. In 2007, Las Vegas was visited by almost forty million tourists, setting a new record for the fourth consecutive year.

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