For many years Macau has been one of the most famous locations on the planet. Some would call it the Las Vegas of the Far East for its unparalleled reputation for bright lights and big city glamour.
But in recent years there have been reports that Macau has not been as profitable as expected. With fluctuations in the global economy, and the vast inroads made by online gaming sites, many are speculating that Macau faces an uncertain future.
Since Macau was administered as a Portuguese colony in the 16th century, its location on the southern coast of China has proved to be an important port for traders resulting in its current position as one of the world’s richest and most densely populated cities.
In 1962 the colony’s gambling industry was operated by a state-governed monopoly, but since the transfer of power to China, regulation was relaxed that led to the construction of new casinos. Many traditional Las Vegas establishments such as Sands Macau and Wynn Macau helped the rapid growth of the area in such a way that led to Macau being declared the world’s largest gambling centre in 2006.
Despite this, in February 2015 it was reported that Macau’s profits fell by half to $2.4 billion in a way that signalled Macau’s future might not be as prosperous as hoped.
Part of the reason for this was felt to be the fact that the Chinese economy had slowed down significantly in accordance to the global economic crisis, and with a government crackdown on corruption in effect many casinos are feeling the burn.
The digital revolution has also affected the ways that casinos can draw their profits. Online gaming sites now allow players to experience gambling from the convenience of their own home, and affiliate sites such as Fortune Palace also offer the chance to play for free. As a result, Macau is having to find new ways to reinvigorate their revenue streams so as to not get lost in the new gaming environment.
However, many feel that Macau is simply too big to be allowed to fail. Its legendary reputation has already seen casino companies hiring the likes of Martin Scorsese to create short publicity films with a budget of $70 million that features stars such as Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio to publicise the colony on a global scale.
Furthermore, there are grand construction plans in store too. A $3.9 billion complex that will be called Lisboa Palace is due for completion in 2017. Also, there have been efforts made to diversify Macau’s tourist attractions with the famous House of Dancing Water show now being joined by a myriad of entertainment complexes, concert arenas and trade shows that all aim to keep Macau centre stage for many years to come.