Casinos – physical or online – have a tremendous effect on global economies, from tourism growth and revenue through taxes to employment creation for local residents.
However, they also pose health threats; higher disposable incomes have been associated with negative health behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. Casinos may alter built environments and disrupt social landscapes.
Although Las Vegas remains the epicenter of global gambling, Macau has seen rapid expansion over recent years and now outshines it in gambling revenue, becoming Asia’s ultimate betting mecca. Boasting an avid population who love betting games as well as casinos that reflect history and culture uniquely tailored to attract visitors from around the globe, Macau draws an incredible influx of tourists annually.
Legality of casinos is a complex matter with numerous influencing factors at play. Gaming Law covers topics including gaming management, competition law and advertising law as well as regulations on gaming promotion as well as WTO law affecting this sector. Furthermore, this field has proven invaluable for teaching and research with many theses written already on topics related to gaming law.
Food and Beverage (F&B) revenues typically make up 20-25% of casino total revenue and can help drive player behavior. Casino promotions on drinks have shown strong correlations to both gambling activity and revenue (Shi et al., 2018). It is also essential that legal issues regarding ownership and regulation of gaming machines and related activities be addressed as these can significantly impact player decision making processes.
Beijing in China seeks to harness casino gambling as an instrument of economic development and implements regulations designed to do just that, such as increasing local ownership of casino companies and mandating use of Chinese currency in gambling activities. Beijing also has an ambitious plan for redeveloping southern regions with hotels, resorts, and amusement parks catering to Mainland tourists – with the ultimate aim of funneling 80 million middle-class tourists directly into Macau each year – from these resorts – many of whom gambling.
Due to increased competition between Chinese casinos, many are competing for customers by providing high-quality service and loyalty programmes aimed at increasing market share. Such strategies help retain and develop relationships with existing customers, which are far more profitable than customer acquisition strategies.
Macau has recently eclipsed Las Vegas in terms of revenue. Now however, Macau faces its greatest test yet; an outbreak of Covid-19 that forced casinos to close has caused huge financial losses across six casino operators businesses in Macau – totalling $478 Million losses! Now with quarantine rules relaxing and ferry and airline services returning plus renewal of licenses underway; Macau’s casino industry hopes it can make a comeback but this will take considerable hard work on their part.
Macau has invested significantly in its gambling industry since 2002. As a result, Macau now surpasses American counterparts in terms of gaming revenues and has become the region’s top tourist attraction. Furthermore, foreign businesses find Macau attractive due to lower taxes than in European nations or the U.S.
Macau’s government collects a special gaming tax of 35% from casino industry companies and individuals that operate casinos within its borders to fund urban development and tourism promotion activities. Under certain conditions, however, they may waive this fee altogether.
But taxes remain a significant source of economic strain and often do not filter through to consumers – as evidenced by guests at Venetian Las Vegas spending more on rooms and food than guests of its sister property in Macau due to most casino revenues going straight into its owners and operators’s pockets.
However, Macau’s new gaming law and national anti-gambling policies aim to curb these illegal practices. Furthermore, concessionaires are mandated to launch various non-gaming projects over the next decade to comply with government policy regarding economic diversification; this could prove challenging for Macau’s casino sector as well as junket-crackdown activities which will impact gambler recruitment activity.
Casinos are much more than places for gambling; they’re destinations in their own right. Their architecture and attractions attract visitors from around the world; casinos should keep this in mind and promote themselves as tourist spots rather than simply gambling venues.
Macau is an icon of globalization and China’s rise. Its casinos have attracted tourists and contributed to economic expansion; its vibrant culture extends far beyond gaming; from cobbled streets to modern cafes – and being listed with UNESCO has ensured preservation of heritage and culture.
Prior to the pandemic, Macao generated approximately 80% of its government revenues through gaming – including casinos like Wynn, Venetian and MGM that operate there – accounting for 82%. Since the pandemic however, gaming revenues have seen fluctuation due to zero tolerance policy implemented during and post pandemic that kept visitors away.
Tourism literature shows that most push and pull factors of casino-tourism revolve around the gambling experience itself. Though casinos provide various games, most visitors flock to machines. Some casinos have taken more holistic approaches to attract casino tourism such as House of Dancing Water with its incredible show featuring acrobatics and water jets within its custom built theatre – something other casinos could learn from doing!