BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 20, 2007
Macau, the only place in gambling-crazy China where
casinos are legal, has, for the first time, beaten the
casinos of the iconic Las Vegas Strip in 2006 regarding
annual gaming win revenues.
And, new casino openings in 2007 should further boost
Macau, the former Portuguese colony, as the gambling
capital of the world.
Macau opened its doors to international gaming companies
such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts when a gaming
monopoly held by casino tycoon Stanley Ho expired in
Gaming revenues in the Chinese enclave of Macau have
climbed quickly in the past four years, surging by 23%
in 2006 to US $7 billion to overtake the US $6.69
billion of gaming wins revenues notched up by the Las
With six new casinos scheduled to open this year, the
hype surrounding Macau is on the rise.
Las Vegas Sands is scheduled to open its huge Venetian
Macao casino complex in the summer as the centrepiece of
the Cotai Strip – a ‘neon alley’ of casinos, shopping
centres, hotels and theatres often described as ‘Asia’s
Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands and the
world’s 14th richest man, has said his company will soon
be a mainly Chinese enterprise, and quipped that Las
Vegas should be called ‘America’s Macau.’
Gaming revenues for the whole of Las Vegas, including
areas outside the main ‘strip’ area, are still slightly
higher than in Macau.
The arrival of foreign casino firms in Macau has
propelled a US $24-billion construction boom as well as
enormous gains in share prices for the handful of
companies which offer investors a piece of the action.