Which City Is the Gambling Capital of the World? Macau or Las Vegas?
If somebody asks you: which city is the gambling capital of the world? You might think about Las Vegas and Macau, which are both famous places for casinos. But which one is the real gambling capital of the world? Macaus or Las Vegas?
Which City Is the Gambling Capital of the World? Macau or Las Vegas?
Las Vegas may be the most popular city for gambling, but Macau has more gambling revenue than any other city in the world.
Macau has more than twice as much gambling revenue as Las Vegas, and more than eight times as much as Atlantic City. Macau is a Chinese autonomous territory on the coast of the South China Sea, just across from Hong Kong. In recent years, Macau has become a popular destination for tourists from mainland China, and it’s now the most-visited destination in the world.
Macau has a long history, but gambling wasn’t popular there until the 1980s, when the Chinese government decided to open up the city to tourism. Macau is a very small territory, and most people visit it as a day trip from Hong Kong, so it’s easy to explore.
Why Macau Is the Gambling Capital of the World?
Macau is the gambling capital of the world. The tiny territory has a bigger casino industry than even Las Vegas! The city's casinos are booming thanks to an extremely high tolerance for gambling among its residents and an abundance of tourist attractions that serve as great pretexts for people to go out and have fun on the town. With a population of just over 600,000 people, Macau has more than 20 casinos with over 25,000 slot machines, 160 gaming tables, and several hotels. A staggering one in every 10 jobs in Macau is related to the gaming industry. Unfortunately, many of those jobs are trap jobs; these casinos don’t pay their employees fair wages or offer any benefits. If you’re thinking about visiting Macau anytime soon though… read on!
Macau’s Gambling History
Macau has been a hub for gambling since the 16th century, when Portuguese sailors spent their time in port playing card games and dice. Even the Chinese government had a hand in gambling in Macau during the reign of the Qing dynasty. However, it was the Portuguese government that really changed the face of gambling in Macau. The Portuguese built casinos in the 19th century to draw in tourists and make money off their excessive gambling.
In the first half of the 20th century, Macau was a gambling heavyweight that drew many high rollers, including American mobsters like Meyer Lansky. However, in the 1960s, the Chinese government took control of Macau away from the Portuguese. In the 1970s, China’s government attempted to regain control of the gambling industry, but they found that very few tourists wanted to visit Macau, so the casinos needed a new strategy. Fortunately, the casinos came up with a new plan: they started offering free entertainment and cheap gambling. This new strategy worked, and Macau’s casinos quickly became a tourist attraction for people on the Chinese mainland.
Casinos in Macau
The casinos in Macau are not just gambling dens; they are a major tourist attraction. Many casinos offer free benefits, such as free shows and free food. Others offer discounted gambling, with cheap slot machines and table games that cost a tiny amount of money to play. Attractions like these help casinos attract people who do not want to gamble. Many tourists visit the casinos for the shows and the food, not for the gambling. This strategy has made the casino industry far more accessible. Some casinos in Macau are like miniature cities. The Venetian Macao is the largest casino in the world; it is bigger than the Las Vegas Venetian and the MGM Grand combined! The Venetian offers free entertainment, like acrobats and singing performances. It also boasts table games with minimum bets as low as 10 cents. The Casino Lisboa is another Macau casino that has become a miniature city. The Casino Lisboa has restaurants, shops, a hotel, and even a movie theater.
The Culture of Gambling in Macau
The culture of gambling in Macau is completely different from the culture of gambling in the U.S. There are several main differences:
There are no age restrictions on gambling in Macau. In the U.S., casinos have a minimum age requirement. In Macau, the only age restriction that applies to gambling is that minors are not allowed to enter casinos.
In the U.S., it is rare to see people gambling in public. There are some lawsuits related to gambling as well. You might see one or two people playing the slot machines at a gas station or 7-11, but it is almost impossible to see a table game in progress. In Macau, people gamble everywhere, including on the street, in restaurants, and especially in casinos.
Gambling in the U.S. is more focused on skill. In Macau, you gamble based on chance.
Gambling in the U.S. is done for the thrill; there is no expectation of winning any money. In Macau, people expect to win money when they gamble.
The High Stakes of Macau’s Casinos
Because Macau casinos expect people to win money, they set the stakes very high. It is easy to lose tens of thousands of dollars in one sitting. The table games have extremely high minimum bets, and the slots take a very small percentage of money per person per hour.
The table games have minimum bets as high as $10,000 or $20,000.
Slot machines in Macau pay out very little money. The average person playing slot machines gets back less than 94% of what they put into them. That is a very low return on investment. Other countries have much higher payout percentages. For example, the average person in the U.S. playing slots gets back 97% of what they put into them.
Safety in Macau’s Casinos
The safety of Macau’s casinos is a major concern. Many people worry that Macau’s casinos are not safe. The casinos do little to allay these fears; in fact, many of the casinos make their customers feel unsafe.
Many casinos employ outside security guards to keep order. These security guards are not trained law enforcement officers; they are hired from private security firms. These guards are more likely to escalate a situation than de-escalate it.
Many casinos do not allow people to bring in their own food or drinks. They instead charge high prices for food and beverages.
Many casinos do not allow people to leave once they’re inside. They have no clocks and no windows, making it impossible to tell what time it is or if the sun is even up.
Casinos are filled with people who are intoxicated by alcohol. They are less likely to make wise decisions and keep their money safe.
Final Words: Is Going to Macau Worth It?
Macau is an amazing place to visit, but it is not worth visiting just for the casinos. There are plenty of other things to do in Macau that don’t involve gambling at all. Macau has many beautiful beaches, stunning temples, and colorful gardens that are definitely worth visiting. There are many people who visit Macau to gamble, but there are also a surprising amount of people who visit Macau for other reasons. Macau is a great place to visit on any occasion, whether you’re visiting for work or for pleasure.
About the Author
James J. is a freelance writer. He has been writing for us on casino and gambling and other topics.