Macau Gambling History might be brief in terms of time but it has involved billions of dollars of investment. The Independence of Macau triggered the boom.
About Macau and Gambling History
Macau is on the coast of China on the South China Sea only 65 kilometres west of Hong Kong. Similar to its neighbour Hong Kong, Macau has a small area of less than 30 square kilometres and a population of 550,000 people. The remarkable thing about Macau is the language, no it is not Chinese, it is Portuguese. Macau used to be a Portuguese Colony.
Macau has an interesting history to say the least, it was an important trading post for south-east Asia. There was a brief war between Portugal and the Chinese Imperial Army. Although the Chinese objected to Portuguese settlers taking over Macau, they relented in 1553. The Chinese then allowed Portugal to settle there and develop a trading post. They could probably see the trade benefits of such a collaboration.
The Colonisation of Macau
Portugal agreed to pay a sum of 40 pounds of silver per annum in exchange for a 300 year lease on Macau. By the eighteenth century trade was flourishing but their was unrest. Many of the immigrant workers were poorly paid servants or slaves, it was a strong capitalist model which was going out of control. Eventually, it was the Opium war which led to Macau gaining Portuguese Sovereignty. It was a weak moment for China, the deal was that Portugal would fully co-operate with the smuggling of Opium into China from India. There was also a taxation deal which enabled China to develop more income from what was to be a very profitable alliance.
After the end of the second world war the Chinese had a Cultural Revolution and they wanted to reconsider the deal with Portugal. Such was the state of unrest that riots broke out in Macau during the mid nineteen fifties. Tensions remained high and it was in 1974 that the Portuguese occupation of Macau came to an end. A Chinese anti-colonial movement ousted the Portuguese Government. Things got back to normal and in 1980 a new agreement was made between China and Portugal regarding Macau. The agreement declared that Macau was a Chinese Territory under a temporary Portuguese Administration. The previous lease agreement was effectively binned.
Macau suffered under what was only a temporary administration so in 1999 it was declared that Macau would become an independent territory.
Macau Post Independance
Following Independence in 1999, Macau developed its own Government and Legislation. This tiny country now has its own constitution and legislation. It runs its own education welfare and financial systems.
Macau has the highest GDP per head in the entire world. It is now the richest country in the world with the highest life expectancy. That gives you an idea of how Macau flourished since the colonial days finished.
Macau Gambling History
The Gambling History in Macau is very small in terms of time compared with the evolution of Macau itself. Interestingly, gamblingng history began because it became and independent country. As you may know Macau has a border with China, although it is only few hundred metres is a hugely significant factor.
Gambling in China is illegal but it was declared legal in Macau. Thus, a massive opportunity presented itself to the Macau Government. It was duly exploited and the explosion of Macau began. In 2002 gambling in Macau was opened up, previously it has been state controlled.
The Government granted Macau Casino Licenses to three major casino operators following bids from 21 gambling organisations. Licences were granted with an 18 or 20 year duration.
Macau was ripe for development and land on the Cotai strip was set aside to be developed to build casino resorts. This is how it all came about.
Wynn Resorts (Macau), S.A
The deal was Wynn Resorts would invest 513 million US Dollars over seven years and first Mega Gambling Resort was to open by the end of 2006.
Wynn Resorts constructed the 700 million dollar Wynn Macau Casino Resort with a 600 room hotel, 100,000 square foot casino with seven restaurants and 28,000 square feet of retail space. It opened in 2006 having met the Macau Licensing requirements.
Galaxy Casino, S.A
Galaxy Casino was set up the major shareholders of the The Venetian Casino in the US state of Nevada. They signed a deal worth almost 1150 million US Dollars with a ten-year building programme.
Galaxy Casinos constructed two casino resorts, the first of which opened during 2006. It included world-class hotels and a mega casino. The second phase opened during 2011. The hotels were great expanded by more construction completed during 2015.
Billions of dollars have been spent developing Macau into a gambling hotspot. The new tax revenues enabled the Macau Government to flourish and issue more gambling licences. From 2006 onwards there was an employment boom and a lot of immigration. 10,000 apartments were constructed to house the workers of this new gambling industry. Hotel expansion in Macau has been very rapid. The Cotai Strip on reclaimed land has seen construction on a massive scale with many casino resorts being built.
Macau gambling history shows it was not all plain sailing. Macau did suffer a recession but Gambling Revenues are now on the up again.
As the expiry of Macau Gambling Licenses looms nearer there have been concerns over how those licences might be renewed. The operators have invested billions of dollars yet Macau gambling law dictates that a bidding process must be undertaken. Whether or not that will allow new operators to submit bids is not clear. Would it be possible that the original licensees could have to leave Macau. That is the big question. Another chapter of Macau gambling history is about to unfold.
Another matter not directly related to Macau gambling history is that there have been calls for Chinese to be the principal language of Macau.