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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Las Vegas- no longer the gambling capital of the world? - Special Features - Scotsman.com
Las Vegas- no longer the gambling capital of the world?
Published on Tuesday 15 January 2013 09:50
Las Vegas used to be heralded as the global gambling capital, but the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Boulevard strip appears to have been overtaken by a new gaming heavyweight in the Far East - Macau. Macau experienced a staggering 20 per cent increase in revenue over the festive period and the sky appears to be the limit for this special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Recent reports show that for overall customer satisfaction, tourists are enjoying their trips to Macau significantly more than Las Vegas. Macau certainly has the 'wow' factor upon arrival, with plentiful hotels including a number of chain hotels that also adorn the Vegas strip, including the MGM Mirage and the Venetian. Macau also boasts a whopping 6,000,000 sq ft of gambling floor space and with China's recent industrial prosperity the region has become a playground for the rich and those looking to strike it lucky. The densely populated Far East means Macau can tap into a target market of over one billion people, each within a three hour flight of the gaming Mecca.
Macaus casinos barely raked in $2 billion at the turn of the Millennium but last year it raked in $6.5 billion, surpassing Las Vegas, with a gambling arena five times as large and with a staggering 10 times more hotel rooms. Macau is in fact the traditional home of gambling between the two cities. Formerly a Portuguese colony, there a records of gambling dating back to 1847 in Macau.
Perhaps its primary attraction over Las Vegas is that Macau caters very much to the high roller. While in Vegas it is easy for a punter to find a $1 or $2 blackjack table and wile away a couple of hours on free cocktails, Macau does things differently, with high table maximums and an air of sophistication at the tables. It is said that the average Chinese gambler wagers around $85 per hand, while the average gambler in Vegas stakes just $25.
Thats not to say Las Vegas has lost its appeal. Both Vegas and Macau offer entirely different gaming experiences. Vegas, the all-singing, all-dancing, all-American party and Macau, the sleek, decadent and authentically Asian experience.
Another impressive aspect of Macau is that it is still very much a work in progress. So much construction work is yet to be completed with Cotai Strip claimed to be potentially bigger and more profitable than the entirety of Las Vegas Boulevard according to business analysts.
It appears that it is not just the Asian gambling community that recognise Macaus immense potential. There are growing numbers from the west making the visit to the region. If you are one of those considering paying Macau a visit it may be wise to get some practice in at the tables online before you encounter the higher-than-usual table limits of Macaus casinos.
Before your arrival at the worlds fastest growing gaming economy be sure to gain some experience of the many table games and slots that will greet you at Ladbrokes.com