For many people, Macau is a shining beacon for globalization and the growing economic power of China. This city, previously led as a Portuguese colony and regarded as one of the most densely populated on the planet, returned to the People’s Republic of China on the eve of the millennium. Since 1999, Macau has operated as a “special administrative region,” allowing it to have different laws to mainland China, including the legalization of gambling.
The Chinese government’s decision to legalize gambling in Macau helped to clean up the city’s act, with its reputation for gang-led casinos banished to the history books. In fact, over the last decade, Macau’s transformation has been stark, becoming a genuine luxury resort in Asia. Its casino revenue now far outstrips those in the former casino capital of Las Vegas, and now many luxury travel bloggers consider Macau to be the Asian answer to Sin City.
Since 2010, revenue from casino gaming receipts in Macau has exceeded the entire state of Nevada, let alone Vegas itself. That’s because Macau is the only place for mainland Chinese people to gamble legally in the country. Every weekend, thousands flock to the city’s casino floors to play their favorite casino games, notably baccarat, which the Chinese see as the ultimate game of fate.
Although Macau’s gang-controlled VIP gaming rooms were shut down following President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the city’s high-limit casino options are greater than ever today. Macau now focuses heavily on its big-spending customers, with private gaming rooms for VIP baccarat players that could be part of a James Bond movie easily as well as special privileges afforded to these players by the casinos. Underlining the importance of high-roller activity to the Macanese economy is the fact that gaming revenue totaled $3.14 billion in February 2019.
There has also been a need for Macau’s casino resorts to cater to high-roller customers in other ways than just table gaming. So, if you are someone that enjoys the delicacies of food and drink, you’ll love exploring Macau’s dining scene after a gaming session. As of 2017, some 19 restaurants throughout the city received Michelin-star status, with its fusion of Macanese, Portuguese and Chinese flavors guaranteeing a remarkable gastronomic experience.
It’s also even easier to reach Macau thanks to the opening of an ambitious new road bridge, connecting the city with neighboring Hong Kong. This connectivity is vital to Macau’s long-term plans for diversification of its tourist attractions, offering high-end experiences away from the casino floor as well as on it. Becoming a vacation destination is crucial for the local economy, and with unique beaches such as the black sand of Hac Sa Beach, there are plenty of lavish ways to escape the city crowds and see a different side to Macau.