The densely populated peninsula has seen steady growth in the casino industry over the last twenty years since the Chinese government legalized land-based gambling in this region. Gambling in Macau dates back to 1850 when it was still a Portuguese colony. Macau residents used to play Chinese games such as Fan-Tan. China took over in 1999, and in 2001, the government stopped Stanley Ho's gambling monopoly (Ho was a billionaire from Hong Kong). Then freedom prevailed, making Macau the world's gambling capital.
Gambling Nowadays in Macau
A type of poker featuring an electronic table was invented in 2007. In 2008, the Macau government issued the official guidelines for poker games such as Texas Hold 'em. For the first time, casino players were able to play live-dealer table games that same year. Macau reached its gambling revenue peak in 2013, but tough times followed as Beijing needed to strengthen the anti-corruption regime. As a result, most casinos would focus on high-rollers who had access to VIP rooms. High-stake games became so popular in Macau that they attracted unwanted aliens who were associated with money laundering.
Over 300 new online casino sites were closed by the government between 2016 and 2018. The sites had illegally incorporated the name Macau into their branding. In 2020 an estimated $7.61 billion was generated by a total of 41 casinos. However, local authorities restricted gambling hubs to curb the spread of Covid-19. Today, the best casinos in Macau operate under multinational companies that have contributed to the massive development of casino resort complexes. The primary forms of gambling today are lotteries, sports betting, greyhound racing, and casino games.