Macau Projected to Become the Next Las Vegas

by , Sep 3, 2013 | 3:07 pm

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Macau as of late. This Chinese district lies between The People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, but is becoming a gaming hub that attracts the highest of rollers due to its lax gaming laws and limited taxation. Just a few weeks ago, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau released its figures for July and the projected revenue was not only in line with the government’s expectations, but also show a 20% increase from June. There are two reasons for this sudden boom despite a slowing Chinese economy. What are they?

To begin, Macau is not only a premier gaming destination for poker players. Yes, they’re largely one of the main focal points of the area, but there are also quite a few tourists filling up the region. Because Macau offers tourists quite a bit to do, it’s not unusual for them to make a brief stop at a local casino to flood some of their disposable cash into a few hands of poker or one of the many other games to suit any budget. Regardless of how much tourists actually want to spend in these casinos, it’s likely that they’ll be able to find something that suits their tastes and available funds.

The same can’t be said for Las Vegas. The recession hit the region particularly hard given the limited amount of disposable income gamblers were bringing to the city’s casinos. It was up to city planners to try and generate a sustainable revenue stream after the billions of dollars that were invested in regeneration and development schemes, which is still troubling officials to date. However, this doesn’t affect Macau due to its early diversification by city planners. Several tourists make their way to the region for shopping and enjoy considerable savings despite a 30% luxury tax.

Another reason for this boom in popularity and revenue is the attention that’s being given to the region due to poker. The APT Macau Main Event is one of the region’s largest and most successful poker tournaments that sends players home with substantial cash finishes. Henrik Tollefsen, the tournament’s most recent winner, left Macau with over $140,000 USD. This set the record for the largest payout ever in Macau and is sending poker players in droves to try and get their own share in the proverbial hemorrhaging of cash.

Macau is also a focal point for leading names in online poker, such as PokerStars. They’ve already secured quite a strong footing in the region and have partnered with local casinos to serve as hosts for major events. Two PokerStars sponsored events, the GuangDong Asia Millions and the Macau Poker Cup, are already attracting leading names in the game and are expected to continue to draw quite a few high-profile names to China.

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