Sin City, AKA Las Vegas, has been the world’s top gambling destination for the last half-century at least, but the tides seem to be shifting east to Asia. Macau, an antonymous region of China, has been investing heavily into a gambling and tourist industry, since 2002. That industry today brings in more than Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue, by over 3 times. With a rising middle and business class in Asia mainly living in countries where gambling is banned, the rise of Macau has been exponential over the last decade. Macau was long since known as the Las Vegas of Asia, but now has dwarfed its American counterpart.
According to statistics and facts from Casinosites, Macau, though geographically smaller (only 1/10th in size compared to Vegas), packs quite the punch into their 29.5 square kilometres. Macau sees annual visitor volumes over 30 million per year and 2/3rd are from China. That’s 20 million of China’s business elite pouring vast amounts of dollars and Yuan into Macau’s gaming industry.
As mentioned, Macau generates 3 times the gambling revenue as Vegas with gross gaming revenue of $28 billion annually, compared to $6.4 billion generated by Vegas. Vegas does, however, make more in terms of food, drinks and entertainment, Nonetheless, Macau’s 12.12 billion dollars in annual city revenue is not too far behind.
Las Vegas has 135 casinos compared to 49 in Macau. The primary difference is that, unlike Vegas, no smaller casinos exist, and the 49 Macau casinos are among the biggest in the world. Macau does have more hotels and nearly twice as many guest rooms, at 30,000 compared to Vegas - just short of 17,000 rooms.
Taxes & Player Behavior
If you were an international player you would be subject to a 30% holdings tax on winnings in Las Vegas. If you were American you would be taxed between 25 and 30%. Macau has no tax on winnings and thus has created a much more serious gambling environment. Unlike Vegas casinos, the casinos in Macau are filled with more serious gamblers and players who drink and party far less. Macau also has earned a reputation of being a cards-and-table-game mecca, with far more gaming tables and far less slot machines than Las Vegas. This, in turn, has attracted the very high end, high rollers looking to gamble with no distractions. The shopping and restaurant culture in Macau is 5 stars and far more refined with world-class chefs, compared to the fast food, party and entertainment based experience of Vegas.
A lot of what made Vegas were the celebrity endorsements during its rise to becoming the pop cultural iconic place it is today. From Sinatra to Celine Dion, Vegas has hosted and been endorsed by the biggest celebrities ever. Macau has recently become the playground of the celebrity world, with frequent visits by David Beckham, Paris Hilton, Stephan Baldwon and even Rihanna. Furthermore, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese launched a 3.2-billion-dollar casino in Macau in 2015.
With bigger revenues, supersized facilities, a more serious and refined culture with celebrity endorsements to match, Macau is arguably the new capital of gambling on the planet Earth. To see more facts on how Macau stacks up against Las Vegas check out these interesting facts and statistics from Casinosites.