When most people think of the idyllic casino city, they think of Las Vegas. Times have changed, however, and the Chinese city of Macau is now at the summit of the gambling league. Massive investment in line with China’s economic rise and the opening of impressive new venues has led to incredible growth in the casino industry.
Last year, Macau’s casinos had a $38 billion turnover – over six times what Las Vegas took in. Interestingly, gambling revenue is significantly higher in Macau than Las Vegas on an individual level. In 2012, revenue per visitor was $1,354 in Macau while it was just $156 in Las Vegas. Why?
Unlike Las Vegas where the bulk of gambling revenue comes from throngs of visiting tourists, Macau manages to attract so called “high-rollers” – Communist Party officials and wealthy businessmen. Unlike the highly regulated casinos in the United States, those in China are quite lax – gamblers are not asked too many questions about the origin of their wealth.
Australia had the second highest gambling revenue per visitor in 2012 at $736. Singapore comes third, with $446, providing further proof of an impressive Far Eastern boom in the gambling industry.