Macau is an independent territory of China, similar in many ways to Hong Kong, and while not a particularly famous place to the rest of the world; it is rapidly becoming one of the most famous in the gaming world. Rumours are plenty that Macau is set to overtake Vegas as the next big gambling destination and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it’s true.
Macau has a long history of legalised gambling, with legalisation dating as far as the 1850’s. However, the industry didn’t have a lot of room to grow. While the Western world underwent an enormous boom over the last 30 years or so, a monopoly company owned by Stanley Ho controlled the gambling industry in Macau. It was only in early 2001 that the local government stepped in and prevented the monopoly from continuing its hold on casino growth. Within months the city began a huge boom, and the door was opened to casino franchises such as The Sands Corp and MGM to set down roots. It took only six years for the province to experience incredible growth and by 2007 Macau had overtaken Las Vegas for casino revenue.
One of the unexpected things about Macau is that they grew a lot of their success before they had even introduced poker to the casinos. It was only mid 2007 that the game was introduced, but they caught up quickly, with the first championship tournament held towards the end of the same year.
Macau now has an enormous selection of casinos that rivals the Vegas Strip with ease. There are currently over 33 casinos, with several more soon to follow in the coming years. Wynn enterprises has announced plans to open two large casinos in the area, and this Asian territory already boasts one of the top 5 biggest casinos in the world, the Venetian Macau. The Venetian is complete with a canal and gondolas that are ready to ferry you around the casino complex and it’s hard to beat that for a great casino experience!
So is the hype true to the experience? Will some the highest rollers be travelling east instead of West? It looks as if Macau will be rivalling Las Vegas in no time at all, and is the next big destination to visit for some of the best gaming in the world. Already nicknamed the Monte Carlo of the Orient, perhaps it will soon the Las Vegas of the East.