Macau confirms: it’s bigger than Vegas

It earns more in gaming revenue than the Strip, at least. It was either this or a post on Stanley Ho’s medical issues, and I honestly can’t think of anyway to properly blog on that one. From

MACAU says it has overtaken the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s biggest casino draw, raking in more than US$7 billion ($8.58 billion) in 2006.

The tiny southern Chinese enclave’s 22 casinos generated 16.7 billion patacas in the final quarter, taking the year’s total gross gaming revenues to 56.2 billion patacas ($8.83 billion).

By comparison, the 40-odd casinos on Las Vegas’ famous main strip – including the plush Venetian and MGM resorts – generated $US6.6 billion ($8.09 billion).

Macau’s renaissance from a crime-ridden territory with an ailing gaming sector was led by the Las Vegas Sands company, which opened the Macau Sands in 2004.

Other big American names to have taken advantage of the relaxed regulatory environment are Steve Wynn’s resorts and MGM.

Australia’s Crown casinos and Hong Kong’s Galaxy have also opened gaming centres.

Analysts tipped in October that the city had overtaken Las Vegas, based on earnings projections.

But today’s GDP figures are the first time that city officials have confirmed the historic development.

Gambling earnings have boomed in Macau since 2001 when the Government ended tycoon Stanley Ho’s 40 year monopoly on casinos in the city and allowed foreign operators to move in.

Macau punts Las Vegas in casino stakes |

There’s one thing I found very interesting: that in Australia, the Venetian and MGM are considered the major Strip casinos.

Another is that I wouldn’t describe Macau’s pre-2002 gaming sector as “ailing.” I’m going to quote from Roll the Bones here:

Rising from around 30% of the public revenue to nearly two-thirds of it, STDM’s gaming taxes kept Macau’s administration afloat throughout the 1980s and 1990, when Stanley Ho’s enterprises contributed around 80% of Macau’s tax revenue.

I don’t have the absolute revenue numbers at my fingertips right now, but that sounds to me like Uncle Stanley wasn’t losing any money on his casinos.

And congratulations to Hunter at Two Way Hard Three, who has the top Google result for “macau gaming revenues.” I can boast the top result for “casino carpet.”

Spread the love