What is Cotai?
Cotai is an area of Macau which is home to much of the city’s gambling district, filled with casino resorts and associated businesses. The district is often known as the Cotai Strip, in reference to Las Vegas’ famous gambling hub, though the moniker is officially a trademark of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Cotai is also home to ferry ports and a teaching hospital, and it has a population of around 300 people.
Chinese territory Macau is the world’s largest gambling market, with an annual turnover set to be in excess of $30 billion in 2017. Cotai is the region of the city devoted to gaming and entertainment, and the ‘Cotai Strip’ is home to seven integrated resort casinos – with more planned to open in the coming years. Cotai produces the largest proportion of Macau’s income through its gambling and hospitality industries, and was established to revive the economy by creating jobs and increasing tax revenues.
Cotai itself was only created in 2005, when a project to reclaim land reconnected the Taipa and Coloane islands. The first casino, Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Grand Waldo Hotel, opened one year later and since then the district has expanded rapidly. The largest property in the area is the Venetian Macao, owned by Las Vegas Sands which owns the term ‘Cotai Strip’ and use it in their casino branding – though this nickname has been adopted to refer to the whole gambling region.
Cotai’s entertainment district also houses a number of high-end hotel resorts, designed to attract tourists and executives. Macau’s gambling economy benefits greatly from the VIP gaming sector, and many of the city’s attractions and facilities reflect this target market. However, Cotai also provides for the average visitor with plenty of mid-range hotels and attractions, and it hopes to attract more families with its plans to build a theme park in the near future.
Plans are to shift away from a focus on casinos to a more rounded entertainment proposition.