Next time the gambling bug hits and you feel the need to hop the next private jet to Vegas, you may want to rethink your plans. The real action is on the other side of the world in the tiny territory of Macau. Macau is a Chinese entity which had been under Portuguese control for over 100 years before its administration was turned back over to China in 1999. Actually it is an island city of 500,000 and is officially one of two SARs (Special Administrative Region) of China, the other being Hong Kong. And it has quietly overtaken Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world.
The luxury and sheer size of the Macau casinos make Vegas look like child’s play. The biggest hotel and casino operators in the world have properties there including MGM, Four Seasons, Sofitel, The Sands and Wynn. They’re all new, they’re all huge and they’re all over the top in opulence and luxury. Steve Wynn, who was instrumental in the redevelopment of Las Vegas in the 1990’s opened his first Macau casino in 2006 and now two thirds of his profits are from Macau. He has said that he now primarily identifies as a Chinese company instead of an American one, and is considering moving his corporate headquarters to Macau. Sheldon Adelson of The Sands now has several casinos in Macau and has seen his net worth increase 14 fold in the last eight years to a staggering $25 billion today. His first Macau casino, The Sands, was the first Vegas style casino built at a cost of over $250 million. It was successful enough to pay for itself within one year.
Macau is Serious About Gambling and Development
- Macau boasts $600 billion in yearly bets placed, about the same as is withdrawn from American cash machines.
- Macau gaming industry produces five times the revenue of Las Vegas
- Macau is a low-cost air hub and is a convenient stopover gateway for trips to Hong Kong
- Macau’s economy is growing at a phenomenal 19% per year, double that of mainland China
- Three fourths of Macau’s gambling revenue comes from game tables, not slots as in Las Vegas
- Since 2002 over $20 billion in foreign investments have contributed to the Macau casino industry.
- The Louis Vuitton shop in the Wynn Macau has more sales per square foot than any other in the world.
Macau’s on the Move
These days Macau’s economy is based largely on tourism and gaming. Citizens who worked in factories making trinkets for export a generation ago are now employed in the tourism industry with annual incomes as high or higher than most European countries. Tourism has skyrocketed from about 9 million annually in 2000 to over 28 million in 2011. The weather in Macau is terrific year round, with a subtropical climate similar to that of Miami and beautiful beaches to match. We think Macau is a destination worth checking out when you’re ready for something new. Private Jets Charter is booking now.