Gambling Heart of Asia – Macau and Its Casino History

Macau is the Chinese equivalent of Las Vegas. However, the former Portuguese colony has long overtaken the City of Lights as the world’s casino capital, with gaming revenue in 2010 surpassing that of the whole state of Nevada. There are no best Pragmatic slots there, but people love it for different things. It not only draws in the crowds, but it also has glitzy architecture to match.

Macau’s history is one of globalization and China’s development. Because of the involvement of international multinational casino corporations, this is a globalization story. And it’s a story about China’s growth because its people’s economic prosperity has enabled them to travel, see the world, and gambling in large numbers.

In 1999, Macau was re-established as a special administrative region under Chinese rule, with laws that vary from those on the mainland. It is the country’s only gambling destination since it is the only area of Greater China (which includes China, Hong Kong, and Macau) where gambling is allowed.

The environment in Macau was tense in the years leading up to the handover in 1999, with organized crime waging a violent struggle for access to the sub-contracted VIP gaming rooms. Another factor contributing to Macau’s success is the VIP rooms, which offer high-stakes games in a private environment. They distinguished Macau’s casino experience from that of other gambling destinations.

Macau’s casinos make the majority of their money by catering to high-spending customers with private rooms and unique privileges rather than mass-market gamblers. Casinos were initially designed with VIP rooms in mind. These were subcontracted to gambling promoters, who split the earnings from bringing in high-rollers. In 2013, high rollers accounted for 66% of overall casino revenue.

How Did Macau Become the World’s Gambling Capital?

When the Portuguese ruled Macau in 1840, the local authorities were searching for new income streams to supplement the king’s coffers. They decided to turn to vice as a reliable source of additional money, and gambling establishments were among the authorized activities allowed by a new decree.

The little backward settlement was soon turned into a “material and moral rubbish heap,” according to Camilo Pessanha, a Portuguese poet who resided in Macau at the time. Today, there was none of the glitter or kitsch of Macau, and this would be the case for some time.

Residents of Hong Kong and southern China, however, found the lure too strong to resist even in the nineteenth century. Aliens were pouring over the border, and the Portuguese king’s coffers began to fill up as fast as rain.

Not much has changed since then. Macau’s appeal is still based on its liberal gambling sector, where the wealthy and powerful keep mistresses. Speaking of mistresses, Stanley Ho, the creator of modern-day Macau, had four marriages and 17 children before passing away in May 2020 at the venerable age of 98, leaving his empire to be fought over by family members.

What Was Stanley Ho’s Role in the Development of Macau?

It wasn’t easy to transform a morally questionable city into the world’s gambling capital. The first logical change occurred in the 1920s when the first modern-day casinos started to emerge, albeit not entirely.

The real big change occurred in the 1960s when Stanley Ho and his syndicate beat the so-called Macau casino barons by obtaining a gaming monopoly license. The Sociedade de Turismo e Diverses de Macau (STDM) would be founded by Ho.

With Ho at the helm, the business would grow on its own, although by the time he died, the grandfather of the city’s gambling industry controlled about one-third of it. However, he did not leave quietly since he was involved in an internal dispute with two of his children.

Final Thoughts

Tourists and gamblers alike will find much to enjoy in Macau. The city is home to some of the best casinos in the world. It adds to the available entertainment by providing VIP lounges for the most passionate gamblers and creating unique live spectacles and overall experiences that include local culture and food. Overall, Macau is unquestionably the world’s gambling capital, but gaming isn’t the only reason to come. Macau offers a wide range of diverse and interesting experiences.

Macau is the Chinese equivalent of Las Vegas. However, the former Portuguese colony has long overtaken the City of Lights as the world’s casino capital, with gaming revenue in 2010 surpassing that of the whole state of Nevada. There are no best Pragmatic slots there, but people love it for different things. It not only…

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