Macau, affectionately known as the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ has been put on the map not just for its appeal to the casino playing fraternity, but also for its striking landmarks including the 338-metre-high Macau Tower.
With spectacular views across the city, the tower seemingly keeps a watchful eye over the city and its influx of visitors either eager to try their luck at the gaming tables or who want to discover some of its hidden secrets.
Situated on the south coast of China, here some interesting facts about this casino haven you may not have been aware of.
1: Vegas who?
Macau actually superseded Las Vegas as the world leader in gambling revenues a decade ago.
It generates more than $45 billion annually from a staggering 30 million visitors who travel to the high-rolling city stamped with a Portuguese influence from its colonial days.
One in five, or 20 per cent, of the locals are employed at its 33 casinos.
2: Cheaters do not prosper
However, remember the Macau government insists you adhere to its strict, gaming regulations. You might want to leave any hacks you have learned at home.
3: Monotony of the Macau monopoly
The six casino operators that now exist in Macau brought an end to the former monopoly system.
Until 2002, tycoon Stanley Ho reigned supreme for 40 years. However, the government changed the rules to allow competition and so we now have some of the US casino giants like Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Wynn Resorts with their branding emblazoned across many of the city’s biggest resorts.
4: Any room at the inn?
With so many people hotfooting it to Macau for their vacation and the fact it has the world’s highest population density, you might want to check in advance if there is any room availability.
At the last count, there were 20,497 people per square kilometre. That’s a tight squeeze. Go easy on the hotel buffet, ok?
5: Step away from the tables, at least once
Aside from the Cotai Strip which is home to Macau’s fabulous casino resorts, there are many historic reasons to visit the beautiful city.
Having been granted UNESCO’s World Heritage status in 2005, Macau is well-worth a visit just to see iconic monuments in the heart of the old city.
6: Long-time alive
Not only does Macau have a dense population but also one that lives to a grand old age, unlike many hardened gamblers who still enjoy unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking.
The average life expectancy is 84.4 years. Maybe a few more high rollers might take heed of the Macau lifestyle when they read this fact!
That being said, any region which pulls in that kind of money should at least see some benefit for its residents.
7: China rules OK?
Following more than 400 years of Portuguese colonial rule, China assumed formal sovereignty over Macau in December 1999 as a special administrative region.
Still, Macau has become one of the richest regions in the world thanks to its gaming industry and the tourists pouring in from mainland China.
It’s this proximity to the huge, and growing, China market that has caused an influx of billions in investment. The fact that Macau is in Chinese hands also means there is largely unfettered access to any Chinese wealthy enough to make the trip.
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