How Macau Became the Gambling Hub of Asia

The special administrative region of Macau has become one of the most popular places in Asia to visit in recent time. Macau is a region of China with plenty of beautiful neighborhoods and scenes for you to visit. But the best part of Macau is that the region is home to some of the most elaborate casinos in the world.

You can enjoy gaming at one of various casinos around Macau, including the MGM Macau, Wynn Macau, Casino Lisboa, City of Dreams, Galaxy Starworld, and Sands Macau among many others. The Macau Jockey Club is an exciting place for horse racing betting as well.

But what made Macau such an outstanding place for gambling in Asia? The history of gambling in Macau goes back much further than you might expect.

Based on Portuguese Influence

Gambling in Macau has been around since the nineteenth century. Macau was held as a Portuguese territory back then. The Portuguese government legalized gambling in Macau in 1849 as a means of bringing in revenues. This led to many other developments:

  • A new licensing system was introduced in the late-nineteenth century to support the legalization of fantan houses, or Chinese gambling houses, in Macau. Nearly 200 houses had to pay rent to the Portuguese government.
  • Some casino and gambling companies started to get concessions from Portugal to operate in Macau in the early-twentieth century.
  • The Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau or STDM received monopoly rights to gambling activities in 1962, thus allowing for western-style gambling activities to be introduced in Macau.

The strong work that the Portuguese government conveyed for getting casinos to operate in Macau proved to be critical for the region. The STDM still operates in the region and runs more than a dozen casinos. In fact, the rules for gambling in Macau did not change after the transfer of Macau to the People’s Republic of China in 1999.

Many outside entities have invested in Macau as a place for gambling activities as well. The Sands, MGM, Wynn, and Venetian casinos in Macau are all extensions of casinos that you would find in the United States.

A Huge Driver

The immense impact that gambling has on Macau can be seen every day:

  • Nearly 40 percent of the GDP of Macau is supported by gambling.
  • Nearly half of the revenue in Macau is driven by gambling activities, including through taxes on casinos.
  • The rise of online gaming has not impacted Macau as much as it has Las Vegas. Macau saw a 10 percent drop in revenue in the early twenty-first century, but the country has quickly experienced rebounds.
  • The variety of games that people can enjoy in Macau has especially made gambling in Macau more viable. You can enjoy poker, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack alongside other traditional Asian games like fan tan and sic bo. Don’t forget about the keno halls you can find around Macau.
  • There are ways for people to place bets on racing events in Macau. On-course and off-course betting is available alongside telephone services and Fast Access Terminals that help people to bet on races of all sorts.

What About the Future?

There is always a possibility for new developments to come about in the future with regards to gambling in Macau:

  • Bingo could become more appealing to players in Macau. The variety of bingo games and ways to win like on could be interesting in many situations.
  • Sportsbook betting could work for things well outside horse racing. Sportsbooks like on could open to allow people to bet on everything from baseball to association and gridiron football to cricket.
  • Skill-based games have become increasingly popular in many casinos, including in Las Vegas. The potential to produce new slots that include skill-based components in the future could make a real impact on what people might note when finding games.

The exciting world of gambling in Macau is proof that the country is growing as a prominent site for people who want to visit the country and enjoy unique games. The activities people can enjoy while in Macau are diverse and will deserve to be noted as the region becomes more appealing to tourists around all corners of the world.