Macau – A gambling Revolution
Despite gambling now being a worldwide craze, China and many countries in Asia continue to ban it in many places, as a result many tourists who head over to China now head over to Macau to let their hair down and go to a casino.
Due to gambling being illegal in most of China, many visitors decide to take a trip to Macau in order to enjoy some casino entertainment. Macau is now considered as serious competition to Las Vegas when it comes to attracting tourists who are interested in playing casino games.
Macau offers a gambling experience that is different to that which is on offer at many western casinos, as many of the casinos on offer eastern variants on traditional casino games that you will not find at any of the top western casino resorts.
Furthermore Macau also offers historic and famous casinos that should be of interest to any visitor. Two of the oldest casinos in Macau are the Casino Lisboa and Grand Lisboa, which create a distinct historic interest for anyone who wants to learn more about the development of casino gambling there.
However Macau also has a modern feel and offers much more to offer visitors in 2013, including the quite spectacular vision it provides at night. Every evening the lights on the outside of the building are switched on to create the effect of an giant neon pineapple. At the same time the interior décor retains serious kitsch appeal – since it has remained the same since the place was opened back in the 1960s
With its mix of culture and history mixed up with a feel of being in Las Vegas, there’s no wonder many people are visiting Macau to experience a casino feel incomparable to playing Lucky Nugget online slots.
Life in Macau
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Here’s an interesting article that explains how there’s much more to Macau than just huge casinos.
Order a generous slice of Macau and you’d be brave to swallow it whole. This is a historical layer cake of clashing flavours. Long, unremarkable centuries of sleepy ancient Chinese fishing villages infused with a whiff of incense from Taoist temples. A slab of Portuguese colonialism – rich, centuries-thick and packed with spices. And on top, a great slathered-on crust of neon candy – luminescent pink, saccharine sweet, saliva-inducing.
It sounds great.
Gambling revenues continue to grow in Macau
China’s march towards a modern economy continues unabated, even with reports of a recent slowdown. While the country is still held back by the restrictive policies of the government, censorship and corruption, many changes are afoot that will transform the culture over time. While Internet access is somewhat restricted, Chinese citizens can find information and entertainment if they are determined to do so. They can communicate through social networking, play online games or track poker on Party Poker Television. There’s only so much the government can do to hold back the desires of the Chinese people. They want the brands we have and want to play the games we play. Consumerism is a very powerful force, as people around the world want access to what Western citizens have. With the Internet, they can see what others have, and that influences behavior. Just look at the Middle East and see what social media and online access can do to a restrictive culture.
With gambling, the government has actually accelerated the cultural shift with the support of the massive growth in Macau. Gambling revenues continue to grow rapidly even with a slowdown looming in the overall Chinese economy. Given the size of Macau’s gambling presence this is still impressive growth. The casinos in Las Vegas aren’t happy about it, as the Asian high rollers no longer have Vegas as their primary destination. Macau is closer and bigger.
This isn’t lost on the Chinese people, who now have their own glittering destination for gambling. Naturally, this helps fuel the growth of games like poker in China. The poker popularity explosion is around 15 years old in the United States, but can you imagine the growth of this game as over a billion Chinese people become exposed to the game with the hype surrounding Macau and access to online gaming sites?
Things like this might seem trivial, but small things like poker and gambling can have a huge impact on culture. People demand the right to enjoy entertainment options once they are exposed to them. You can’t put that genie back in the box.
Gambling boom in Asia
Las Vegas casinos used to feast on Asian gamblers. Often, these were the “whales” – otherwise known as high rollers – that the casinos would rely upon to rack up huge profits from their casino operations.
The popularity of casino games is huge. People love playing online and they also love the atmosphere of a casino. This has always been a hallmark of the Asian culture, and Chinese tourists were becoming a huge growth opportunity for the Vegas casinos.
But all of that is changing due to two very powerful forces. One was the financial crisis which decimated the Vegas casinos. Everyone was affected, including Chinese tourists. Now the crowds are coming back to Vegas, but there is still a problem as there are fewer Asian high rollers.
And that’s due to the second factor – the emergence of Macau in China as a gambling destination. The casinos there are bigger than those in Vegas and the gambling volume has surpassed Las Vegas. Chinese whales now can stay on their own continent and get the same kind of thrill from progressive jackpot slots or hours of blackjack. They don’t have to look to Vegas as the best option.
This trend is having a huge impact on Chinese tourism, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.