Macau (also known as Macao) has long been Asia’s gaming capital. The casinos were all owned by billionaire Stanley Ho. Macau is the world’s biggest gambling destination, with revenues five times greater than in Las Vegas. Macau’s gambling industry has developed quickly since it was liberalized in 2002.
The story of Macau is one of globalization and the rise of China, because of the role played by foreign multinational casino companies. Macau’s focus on high-spending customers, with private rooms and special privileges – rather than mass market gamblers – is the source of much of the casinos’ revenue. Casinos were originally built around VIP rooms. In 1999, Macau returned to Chinese rule as a special administrative region, which means it has diverse laws to mainland. It is the only part of Greater China which includes China, Hong Kong and Macau, where gambling is legal, making it the country’s sole gambling destination.
Macau casino workers mostly dealers cooperated in a demonstration calling for stricter control on smoking at the city’s gambling venues. The protest was formulated by the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association. It started at 4:30 pm local time at the World Trade Center in Zape. Protesters marched all the way through the Government Headquarters in Nam Van. Protesters also handed a petition addressed to Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On. That petition exists on the fact that tips from customers are no longer publicized by casinos. Workers said in their petition that back in the 2000s the practice was for casino companies to disclose how much tips workers had collected and to use those for organized activities for their employees. That practice was later on abandoned. Workers said during yesterday’s demonstration that they believe casinos will allow players to continue smoking in banned areas, despite the new regulations.
The Sands China, Wynn Macau, MGM China, SJM Holdings, Melco Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment are the six licensed casino operators in Macau.
The latest mega operations where you can enjoy a variety of games from basic slot machines to poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat are the Venetian Macau Casino, the Sands Macau and Wynn Macau. All of Macau’s six casino operators SJM Holdings, Wynn Macau, Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment Group, MGM China Holdings and Melco Crown Entertainment – have expanded in the last few years, most opening big new properties.
Macau’s casinos were at their peak in 2014 when gaming revenue was more than US$45 billion, cementing the city’s position as the world’s casino capital. Macau’s gambling industry has increased quickly since it was liberalized in 2002. Gambling revenues increased by 42% last year, despite a slowdown in China’s economy.
Macau casinos are not entirely immune to the trade war and a Chinese economy that has slowed to the weakest pace in three decades. Macau has reason to be concerned as the gaming industry has witnessed 26 consecutive months of gross gaming revenue (GGR).