The former Portuguese colony, set against the seas of south China, already has its own take on picturesque Venice, blended perfectly with the pomp and splendour of Las Vegas. The last decade has seen this city grow rapidly, quenching China’s thirst for gambling. If Rome was not build overnight, it seems Macau certainly was! Growth has exploded in this city and this sprawling conurbation is gearing up for the next round, as some of the biggest names in the casino industry place their bets on this gambling hub. And with the Venetian backdrop already set in place, the building boom takes a turn towards French influences of the Eiffel Tower and the famous Palace of Versailles.
Betting Against Vegas
So, why are the big names flocking to Macau? Casino growth here has accelerated manifold and the city has been dubbed the biggest gambling hub in the world, leaving Vegas and Atlantic City far behind. While the Vegas strip collectively generated $5.8 billion dollars in revenues in the latter half of 2013, Macau totalled up to a staggering $41 billion in the same period. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out where the potential lies.
Edward M Tracy, CEO, Sands China, remarked on the city’s growth, saying, “It’s astounding what’s happened in the past 10 years.”
Why Macau Stands Tall
So how has Macau been able to become the undisputed champion? Well, there have been a few undercurrents that have steered the revenues ashore. Since this is the one place in China where gambling is legal, mainlanders were drawn to this gambling capital, constituting around 65% of the total visitors. Interestingly, most if these mainlanders are high net worth individuals, looking to live life in all its splendour. Vegas and other gambling havens would definitely find it tough to compete because they would be fighting against a billion more people when it comes to the population of just this one country – China.
The atmosphere here is rather electrifying. One would assume that with all the splendour that Macau has to offer, the city will be awake through the night with the thriving party spirit. Surprisingly, many gamblers are here to win, and not just enjoy a slice of luxury. And as they spend thousands of dollars on a hand of cards, they sip their tea and eat their noodles, a sight that you would never see in Vegas. And with this, the revenues are on a roll!
New Faces of in the City
Some of the newest entrants to Macau’s casino scene are:
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau
The executives of this Macau casino company initiated a construction similar to the Versailles Lisboa Palace in France. This $3.9 billion project is slated to open for business in 2017, equipped with a staggering 700 gambling tables. Apart from this, there will be three feature luxury hotels, including Palazzo Versace Hotel and one by Chanel’s and Fendi’s very own chief designer, Karl Lagerfeld. The new strip will boast a wedding pavilion, a theatre and a link to the next door family amusement park.
Las Vegas Sands
The company behind the majestic Venetian hotel and casino in Macau is adding a new building to their consortium. The Parisian is schedule to open in 2015, complete with a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower, with an observation deck and a shiny new restaurant.
The Galaxy Entertainment Group
This Hong Kong based company broke ground with The Galaxy Hotel and Resort in Macau in early 2012. They are ready for expansion and are now adding JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels to their portfolio.
This American casino company is expected to open a 1,700 room hotel and casino by the 2016. Featuring a dragon rising from the polished floor, this casino hotel hopes to bring people from around the world to view the amazing spectacle only in Macau.
“Gambling won’t go out of fashion. It will just become part of a wider offering.”
~ Ian M Coughlan, President, Wynn Macau