The gaming industry in Macau can look back on an extremely successful year. As the local gaming authority announced at the beginning of the month, the so-called gross gaming revenue (BSE) totaled over 180 billion Macau pataca (MOP). This corresponds to around 20.6 billion euros. Just last November, we at Casinova.org published an interesting article about whether gambling turnover is higher in Macau or Las Vegas.
Gross gaming revenue increased by over 300% within a year
Macau is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, located around 50 kilometers west of Hong Kong. The proximity to the 7 million metropolis of Hong Kong is probably one of the reasons why Macau is so attractive as a location for casinos. After all, gambling has been completely banned in mainland China since the Chinese Communist Party came to power.
Last year, the casinos in Macau no longer had to contend with the restrictions of the global corona crisis. The borders here were only reopened in 2023. Compared to 2022 and 2023, gaming revenue in the casinos increased by an impressive 334%.
In total, more than 28 million tourists visited Macau in 2023. Unsurprisingly, many visitors came from mainland China. It is of course no surprise that incidents can occur with such a high number of tourists. For example, last May we reported on a mass brawl in a casino in Macau.
There are currently more than 30 casinos in Macau. The Chinese special administrative region has had the largest gaming market in the world since 2006. The Venetian Macau, the largest casino in the world with an area of 550,000 square meters, is also located here. According to current estimates, Macau has just under 700,000 inhabitants. By the way, Macau was still a Portuguese colony until 1999.
Casino operators need to make greater investments in the non-gaming sector
What is interesting is the fact that casino operators in Macau are now being forced to invest more money in the non-gaming sector due to the gigantic gaming revenues last year. A current license agreement stipulates that if gaming revenue exceeds MOP 180 billion, marketing expenditure in areas outside of gaming must be increased by a fifth. Those responsible obviously want to ensure that there is no excessive dependence on the gambling sector.