Some Relatively Unknown Facts About Gambling
Gambling has existed in some form or the other for centuries. Indian history has references of betting games as early as 3000 BC. Even Chinese history offers evidence of gambling in 2,300 BC. With a 4,000 year old history, gambling has its share of little known facts. These make you wonder about the love people have for this form of entertainment.
Which is the game whose dealings end up influencing the annual turnovers of major casinos across the globe? Which game is the favourite of the ‘high rollers’ or the casino’s crème de la crème? It is the game that was once a penchant for the French royalty and has been shown in most of the Bond movies. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is Baccarat.
Casino gaming has a long and eventful history. The industry stops for breath once in a while, but its contribution to the inflow of tourists and foreign currency as well as tax revenues cannot be overlooked. Yes, it is continuously in the spotlight of government regulations, but an increasing number of countries are embracing the opportunities the casino industry has to offer.
More recently, Macau has become the epicenter of the global casino industry. However, visiting Las Vegas still remains the dream for most casino lovers. The EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region also has its share of magnificent and exciting casinos.
In my previous article, which you can read here, I covered some of the best casinos in the Eastern part of the world. Here, I have described some of the most exciting casinos in Las Vegas and the EMEA region. There is also one casino from Nepal that finds a mention in this article.
In the first part of this article, which you can read here, we discussed the hurdles that online gaming and its legal status have witnessed worldwide. While the size of the widely popular gambling form is difficult to measure, there are a few ways in which the necessary change can be brought about. In this section, we will talk about those factors that can usher in some positive developments in this regard.
Nepal’s Tourism Ministry, which had backed allowing Nepalese citizens to enter local casinos sometime back, has taken a summersault and back tracked completely. So much so that the ministry now seeks to put a ban on the entry of Nepalis into casinos, as stated in a draft released by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA).
It’s ubiquitous and yet it is an elephant in the room. Online gaming is a popular practice throughout the world, despite the national or state regulations that have plagued it for a while.
However, this element of uncertainty surrounding the legalities related to this flourishing sector isn’t a healthy sign for the industry as a whole. Not only does this make it difficult to judge the impact of this sector, it also impedes planning and strategizing for the future.
Despite the lull in the world economy, the global casino revenues climbed 5.2% to US$117 billion in 2011, marking a 2.2% rise over the figures reported in the previous year and the strongest development in the past decade. Three factors are expected to drive the global casino industry, enabling it to register robust profits in the forthcoming years:
- Growth of personal and disposable incomes in the developing nations
- The ever expanding middle class section of the population
- Expansion of the casino sector in the promising markets
- Gradual global economic recovery
- Growing acceptance of casinos
Despite being around for merely a couple of years and with barely two casinos, the revenues of Singapore’s gaming industry are set to surpass the revenues of the Las Vegas Strip. Hard to believe, but true!
When the Singapore government, known for its stringent legal and moral conduct, issued licenses to a couple of casinos in 2010, it took the world by surprise. The initial idea was to enhance the experience of tourists and provide them with a wide range of entertainment options and services. The strategy was to boost the tourism of the island.
When it surpassed Las Vegas as the world’s biggest gambling industry in 2006, that too by a huge margin (more than 5 times the revenue of Las Vegas), it left everyone amazed. And since then Macau’s gaming industry hasn’t looked back.
With a land area of 29 sq kms, Macau’s natural environment lacks major resources like forests or woodlands, arable land and pastures. This makes Macau’s its economy largely dependent on the service industry, of which a large share of the inflows is generated by the tourism and gaming industries.