Macau Casino Statistics
Macau Casino & Gambling Overview
Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal, other than two state-sanctioned lotteries. It is a special administrative region (SAR) of China and is home to the some of the world's most incredible casinos built using superb architecture and all complete with fine dining, exciting night life and luxury accommodations. Many of the nearly 40 casinos are hosted in world famous luxury hotels or are all-inclusive integrated resorts in their own right, the largest of which host three to four massive hotels in one complex. The larger resorts like this are in Cotai. This includes the Venetian Macao, the largest casino in the world. Macau is also an incredible place for gambling, entertainment, culture and history.
Macau sees about 31 million visitors every year. About two thirds (66.3% for the first 5 months of 2016) come from mainland China and about one fourth come from Hong Kong and Taiwan, with the balance of visits originating elsewhere. Macau currently has a total of 29,725 guestrooms spread across 73 hotel properties which range from 5-star deluxe to 2-star hotels. There will be approximately 6,300 more rooms coming as three new hotels open. Wynn Palace is slated for a late August opening, Parisian Macao by mid-September, and MGM Casino Cotai should open in the first quarter of 2017.
Evolution of Macau casino and gaming industry: past to present
A former Portuguese enclave that was always known as a place of gambling and excess, Macau legalized gambling in 1847. In 1962 the former government granted a monopoly to operate all gambling to STDM, now SJM Holdings.
When Portugal handed Macau over to the Chinese government in 1999, China allowed gambling to continue but broke up the SJM monopoly. Their exclusive deal expired in 2001 and by 2002 new casino licenses were being awarded. In May of 2004, the first western owned casino opened, Sands Macao, ushering in a new era in Macau gaming history.
In 2006 Macau posted higher revenues than Las Vegas becoming the highest grossing casino location in the world. The annual revenue was US$6.95 billion. GGR had been growing at such a tremendous rate that in 2011 PwC predicted gaming revenues to reach US$62.17 billion by the end of 2015. By October 2013 Macau is breaking all-time records for revenue with casinos pulling in 4.57 billion USD in a single month.
What analysts didn't see coming was a corruption crackdown from Beijing beginning in 2012, a new to market table game cap beginning in 2013, China's continually deflating economy, and a new fervor by the government to "adjust" Macau from a gambling-centric destination to a tourist center with economic, social, and environmental balance.
In 2015 GGR was only $29 billion, but still five times that of Las Vegas. Although the average spend per player is no longer ten times that of Las Vegas gamblers, it was still six-times in 2015 and the gambling economy is on the mend. Although 2016 still sees Macau experiencing a temporary downturn, the casinos there pull in more than any others on earth with about $US13.5 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first six months of the year.
In fact July 2016 marked the 25th consecutive quarter of contraction from a high of US$45.27 billion in 2013 to an estimated US$25b by the end of 2016. As of mid 2016 almost all analysts, including the Macau government, are predicting that real growth will begin again by Chinese New Year 2017. Even at US$13.5 for the first half of 2016, Macau dwarfed the entire state of Nevada which posted a total win of about US$5.65 billion for the six months ofDecember 2015 through May 2016.
Gross revenue from casino gambling in Macau: 2007 to 2015
This chart shows the sharp downturn in the Macau gambling market when China began its crackdown on corruption, among other things. However 2016 looks like the beginning of a recovery.
The casinos of Macau and Cotai Strip
After foreign companies were allowed to enter the market in 2002, a number of larger Vegas companies came to join Galaxy and SJM. Galaxy owns StarWorld perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in Macau. The Sands Macau was the first U.S. owned casino in Macau and it opened its doors in 2004. Amazingly Sands Macau paid for itself in the first year of operations. More big names like MGM and Wynn also adorn Macau's skyline. SJM has also stepped up things a notch to keep in time with the new arrivals. Just one look at Grand Casino Lisboa and you will know exactly what we mean.
Meanwhile in Cotai, the strip itself is growing rapidly with 13 properties open or opening soon. This entire area used to be water between Taipa to Coloane. Sheldon Adelson famously proposed to fill the space between the islands with concrete to build the Cotai Strip. Now his dream is a reality and gives new meaning to the name City of Dreams which is here, along with Galaxy Macau, Venetian Macao and Sands Cotai in all of her growing magnificence. Galaxy completed Phase II (of 4) along withBroadway Macau in 2015 and Melco Crown opened Studio City in October. Next up are Wynn Palace, Parisian Macao, and MGM Cotai - all properties cost in excess of a billion dollars to build. And let's not forget the world's most expensive hotel, which may also open with a casino; Stephen Hung's $1.4b "The 13" expected to open by the end of 2016 with the world's largest fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, and 200 suites (villas) from 2,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet. Ready for a room that costs $100,000 a night?
Cotai Strip at Night
Billionaire casino mogul Stanley Ho, and his SJM Holdings group that we mentioned above already holds 30 casino licenses in Macau and is building a 2,000 room mega-resort in the Cotai Strip to be named Grand Lisboa Palace. The casino will host over 700 table games if they get their wishes, but government caps seem to indicate no more than 250. Some of the other SJM casinos are: Grand Lisboa, Hotel Lisboa Casino, Emperor Palace, L’Arc, Kam Pek, Ji Mei, Grandview,Diamond Casino, Ponte 16, Oceanus, Greek Mythology Casino, Lan Kwai Fong, Fortuna, Crystal Palace, Casa Real, Casino Babylon, Club VIP Legend, Golden Dragon and more.. Oceanus may reopen this year after refurbishing. Greek Mythology has been shuttered since December 31, 2015 but may open again as well.
Galaxy Casino Group operates Starworld Casino in Macau, Galaxy Macau Casino and Broadway in Cotai, and Pharaoh’s Casino in Macau.
James Packer’s Crown Limited has made extensive investments in Macau as well and owns the Altira, City of Dreams. and Studio City along with Lawrence Ho through Melco Crown Ltd.
Besides the city of Macau and Cotai, there are other locations to gamble, but they are not quite the same. You can find smaller casino clubs like the Mocha Clubs throughout the SAR of Macau. Taipa is home to Casino Altira with a Mocha Club in it to add to its table game assortment. You will also find Greek Mythology Casino in Taipa.
Available Casino Games in Macau
By far in Macau the most popular casino game is baccarat. Some casinos don't have anything except baccarat tables in them. Macau is loaded with Chinese mainlanders coming to seek their fortune. The gambling you will see at some of these establishments is not for the faint of heart. While there are plenty of shows, entertainment and nightlife, Macau really is a hardcore gamblers dream.
While there are thousands of slot machines in the City of Macau if you want to visit loads of slots and shopping, our personal opinion would be to head over to the Cotai Strip. Casinos like Galaxy Macau and Venetian are loaded with slots. If you are already in Macau proper, you definitely aren’t out of luck: we'd suggest Sands Macau, Wynn, or Starworld Casino.
Pari-mutuel facilities in Macau
There are pari-mutuel facilities in Macau. You will find both greyhound racing and horse racing. There is the MJC (Macau Jockey Club – and Grandview Casino attached) and the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome, but the greyhound facility may close at the end of the year.
Location and geography of Macau, Cotai, Taipa
There are two main districts for casino gaming, the actual city of Macau and the Cotai Strip. There are a few casinos in Taipa and other districts (mostly Mocha casinos). You will find the biggest resorts in Cotai, but Macau is home to the Grand Lisboa, Sands Macau, Wynn and a few other stunning casinos. It is also the most culturally diverse.
Macau proper is a peninsula bordering the Chinese Mainland by Zhuhai city, separated only by the Yayong River (鸭涌河). The Cotai Strip is on the island of Taipa. Cotai is built completely on reclaimed land between Coloane and Taipa, hence the name Cotai, which is a combination of those names. In total, Macau has only 11.39 square miles (29.5 km²) of land to build on. All of the Macau SAR (Coloane, Taipa, Cotai and Macau) is connected by beautiful bridges as well as tunnels into mainline China. You can get a bit of a feel for the layout of things from the map of Macau here. For a good idea of what Macau looks like from the ground, we suggest our Macau photo gallery.
Transportation to Macau
There is only one other Chinese SAR and that is Hong Kong, which you can easily reach using the turbojet ferries. The fast catamaran and standard ferry trips take from 45 to 75 minutes depending on vessel choice and sea conditions and run every fifteen minutes from 7pm until midnight with another 7 overnight trips after that.
Gamblers from Hong Kong and Taiwan and other locations in Asia can reach Macau in a relatively short period of time using various methods of transportation. Visitors from more distant locations in Asia can take advantage of short travel times by air to Macau or to Hong Kong (followed by a short hydrofoil ferry or helicopter trip to Macau). Simply put, easy access from major population centers promotes Macau as a popular gaming destination in Asia.
Macau completed construction of an international airport in 1995 that provides direct air service to many major cities and countries in Asia, such as Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok,Beijing and Shanghai. The Macau International Airport can accommodate large commercial airlines and has regularly scheduled air service to approximately 11 cities, including at least eight in China, with links to numerous other major destinations in asia with casinos.
Most importantly, China opened two border crossings with Macau shortly after the opening of Sands Macau Casino which allowed it’s citizens to freely cross the border. This resulted in a wave of lower income punters that fill the main gaming halls, and if they do not return same day they may sleep in such places as massage parlors and parks in order to not waste money on a hotel room – more money for gambling! Such play is a welcome bonus for the casinos, tending to even out the volatility from high-roller play in the VIP rooms.
Casinos and Gambling Facts
Macau is a country in East Asia with legal gambling.
There are 3 cities with gambling facilities in Macau which have 50 legal gambling facilities available in total.
The types of gambling available in Macau are: casinos, horseracing tracks, greyhound tracks.
The largest gambling city in Macau is Macau with 33 gambling facilities, 3,514 tables games, 8,976 gaming, slot, and video poker machines.
The largest casino in the entire country of Macau is Venetian Casino Resort Macao which is located in Cotai. Venetian Casino Resort Macao has 800 table games, 33 poker tables, 3,400 gaming and video poker machines.
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