History of Gambling in Macau

История азартных игр в Макао

Macau's gambling industry dates back three centuries. The region is called the "Monte Carlo of the East" or the "Las Vegas of Asia". Now it is the most important pillar of the Special Economic Zone. In 2009, gambling tax revenue accounted for more than 70% of the budget of the Second Administrative Region of China. In the late 2000s, casino and poker gross revenue surpassed that of Las Vegas to become the largest in the world. Macau's gambling industry is based on many years of political support from the central government, investments from local and foreign businessmen.

Development of the gaming industry

The development of the Macau gambling industry dates back to the 16th century, when the city was an open port and a colony Portugal. She was mainly engaged in local builders and dockers. The establishments were staffed by domestic servants from mainland China who emigrated to Macau. There was no regulatory oversight, so gambling kiosks and tables were all over the streets.

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After the cession of Hong Kong to the British in 1842, Macau gradually gave way as a trading port to a neighboring city. In order to increase the source of taxation and diversify the economy, the Portuguese government officially legalized gambling in 1847 for the first time. In the 1850s, more than 200 casinos were already operating with the Fan-Tan game (a popular discipline at that time). At the end of the 19th century, the entertainment industry became the main source of income for the government. The region became famous for gambling all over the world and was known as the "Eastern Monte Carlo".

Вид на город
Macau is still not inferior to Monte Carlo today with a magnificent urban panorama

In 1930, the Hoshin company, headed by businessman Ho Zhiting, for the first time in history became a monopoly in the gambling industry. Hoh Hing Company has brought innovative improvements to the industry and related services. There was a grandiose decoration of the casino, stages for the performance of artists. Guests were offered free fruit, cigarettes, food and ferry tickets.

In 1932, betting on dog racing was introduced. A group of Chinese and American businessmen opened the Macau Greyhound Racing Club and built a related track, now called the Yiyuan Racecourse. At that time, the new form of entertainment was not popular.

Horse racing appeared as early as 1842, but was not held on a large scale until the opening of the Macau International Racing Association in 1927. It gained the right to accept bets at the new Black Sand Preta Racecourse .

In 1937, Macau's gambling industry underwent a major reform. In the same year, the government of Macau-Portugal issued an order to centralize all franchises and pool investments. The tender was won by the Taixing company, headed by businessmen Fu Derong and Gao Kening. She rebuilt the Central Hotel, renaming it Xinma Road, and opened a flagship casino. New disciplines were introduced. In assortment appearedBaccarat, which is the most popular game in Macau today.

Фасад заведения
The Central Hotel retained its original name

In February 1961, at the suggestion of the 119th Governor Ma Jishi, the Portuguese government has approved the opening of a permanent play area. This has made Macau an attractive investment destination due to low taxes, and casinos and tourism have officially become mainstays of economic development. Ma Jishi also gave a legal definition of gambling, which included everything where the winner receives a prize by chance and luck.

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Gaming franchise system

Due to the expiration of the gambling contract with the Taixing Company, on December 31, 1961, Governor Ma Jishi and relevant departments promulgated Legislative Decree No. 1496. Franchises began to be sold through public tenders. A new company owned by businessmen from Hong Kong and Macau participated in the auction. The new consortium received franchise rights to operatecasino and ticket offices. In August of the same year, Zheng Junbao, a Chinese Indonesian, petitioned the government to restart dog racing.

A new franchise company was incorporated in 1962 and named Macau Tourism and Entertainment. The first New Garden Casino opened the same year. In 1970, the Lisbon Hotel and Casino opened. From its inception until 1982, Macau Entertainment was allowed to offer more than ten types of games, including Fan Tan, Baccarat, Craps, Sic Bo, Blackjack and Slots.

In 1980, Yip Khan founded the Macau Peat Club offering horse racing. Horse racing was not popular, and the racetrack was bought by Macao Entertainment for 1 billion yuan.

In 1998, Australian Entertainment introduced a Japanese-style pinball machine. That same year, the government allowed the Macau Lottery to accept football bets. Bookmakers have earned on the eve of the World Cup. Macao Entertainment has actively expanded its business scale, becoming the largest player in the world of gambling.

The history of the development of the gambling industry in Kazakhstan in many ways resembles the ups and downs in the Russian gambling market. The gambling business in the Republic of Kazakhstan began to develop spontaneously in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence by the republic. Within three decades of the introduction of the first casinos in the country, the authorities…Read more
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Changes in the gaming industry after Makai's return to China

December 20, 1999, in accordance with the 1987 agreement, Portugal transferred Macao to the PRC. The day after the creation of the Special Administrative Region, its head, Ho How Wah, announced that he would invite a consulting firm with international experience to study the prospects of the industry. In July 2000, the Macau Gambling Commission was officially established, which is responsible for studying the development, laws, administrative rules and policies of the gambling industry. The committee held its first meeting in August and decided to hire the consulting firm Arthur Andersen to provide professional advice to the government.

Центральные улицы Макао
The historic center retained the colonial style of the Portuguese era

In August 2001, the Macau Legislative Council passed Act No. 16/2001 on the opening of the gaming industry, namely the "Luck Gaming Operation Casino Legal System", which determines the form of licensing, operating conditions, trading and business models of companies. The government of Macao SAR decided to award three contracts after the Macao Entertainment franchise expired on December 31, 2001. This was done in order to create competition, give new impetus to the economic development of Macau and lay a solid foundation for the long-term sustainable development of tourism and entertainment.

As a supplement to Law No. Authorities Ho Hau Wah signed the Administrative Regulation No. 26/2001. He regulated open bidding, the issuance of contracts, financial requirements for companies. On October 30 of the same year, an eight-person IPO Committee was established to check the qualifications of franchisees and provide recommendations to the head of the zone.

In accordance with Administrative Regulation No. 26/2001, the commission officially began bidding and competitive work on November 2 before the closing date for applications. On December 7, 2001, 21 proposals were received, of which 3 companies did not comply with the regulations. Applications came from Macau, Hong Kong, USA, Malaysia, Australia, UK and Taiwan. Many were owned by major international gaming groups.

December 31, 2001, due to 3 contract failures, Macau Tourism and Entertainment was the only gaming franchise to receive a 3-month extension.

February 8, 2002 government announced the results of the new auction, granting the right to conduct gambling at Macau Gaming Corporation, SJM Galaxy Casino, Wynn Resorts casinos. On March 28, June 24 and June 26, 2002, concessions were signed with these companies. When the results of the auction were announced, other contracted firms (with the exception of SJM) needed time to prepare and build the casino and ancillary facilities. They couldn't start working immediately.

Заведение компании Venetian
Sands Casino since 2004

In May 2004, Venetian debuted Sands Casino, the first gaming project in Asia invested and developed by a US-funded company. In July of the same year, Galaxy Huadu Casino, built by SJM Galaxy, launched. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wynn Hotel & Casino took place in June and opened in 2006.

On July 20, 2018, Macau Yiyuan Greyhound Racing officially ceased dog racing activities.

After the start of 2000- x significant changes in the legislation of Macau were not made. As of the end of 2021, there were 42 casinos. Of these, 25 are located on the peninsula, and the remaining 17 are on Taipe.

All casinos are divided between companies as follows:

  • SJM — 23
  • Galaxy — 6 916
  • Venetian — 5
  • Melco Crown - 4
  • Wynn - 2
  • Mcco Mei - 2
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Gaming Taxes

Macau has one of the highest gambling taxes in the world. The state levies not one fee, but several.

The types and amounts of taxes are presented in the table.

Special tax on games35%
Macau Fund Contribution1.60%
Contribution to Urban Development, Tourism and Welfare Fund 9542,40%

The Macau Foundation collects funds for cultural, social, economic, educational, scientific, academic and charitable activities. The total tax is 39%.

Also levied:

  • Fixed fee of MOP 30 million per year in accordance with Chief Executive Decree 215/2001.
  • Сбор в размере 300 000 патак за VIP-игровой стол, 150 000 патак за стандартный стол и 1000 патак за автомат.

The minimum amount of additional fees for gaming equipment must be at least MOP 45 million per year. This is 100 VIP and 100 regular tables. The quantity is considered not for the institution, but in general for the concessionaire. The requirement is met by all companies, as each has thousands of VIP tables. For example, GGR pays hundreds of billions of Patacas a year.

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Major casinos in Macau

As a rule, all establishments are major entertainment centers. In addition to games, they offer a lot of additional services, acting as shopping centers. Shops, hairdressers, spas, hotels, cinemas, cafes and restaurants, exhibitions and museums are available to visitors. You can lead a full life without leaving the entertainment center.

Institutions practically do not differ in the range of games. All popular card disciplines are available, Hold'em, roulette, slot machines and exotic tables (Pai Gow, Sic Bo). Poker series are held.


Venetian is a copy of the Las Vegas casino of the same name. The external form and interior decoration are made in the style of the famous Italian city. The Grand Canal shopping center on the second floor is decorated in the spirit of the Renaissance. Children are allowed into the entertainment center, which allows you to arrange a family vacation. There is minigolf, free parking, ordering excursions, game rooms.

Панорама комплекса
Venetian entertainment complex in the rays of night illumination

Old Lisboa

Old Lisbon - the first complex of the casino-format hotel opened in Macau. Due to the appearance of the players, the establishments are often called "birds in a golden cage." The complex has four casinos and a hall with slot machines. The entertainment center has hundreds of boutiques of world brands of clothing and accessories, a restaurant with 17,000 wine brands. The highlight of the institution is the emphasis on gastronomic diversity and quality of food. Located within walking distance from the ferry terminal.

Старый Лиссабон
Old Lisboa's façade is dominated by gold, but sometimes the institution changes the color of the illumination

Grand Lisboa

There is a new one opposite Old Lisbon owned by the same owners. The design of the casino echoes the lotus flower, the symbol of Macau. The unique shape also resembles a pearl. The façade features the world's first spherical LCD display. The casino is located on four floors. In addition to traditional games, such entertainments as the Wheel of Fortune, Three Kings of Baccarat, Casino Battle are offered. Customers can use the touch computer to help them learn the rules of unknown disciplines.

Игровые столы и посетители казино
The Grand Lisboa casino floor is always full of customers

Wynn Casino

The establishment is different from the multi-level format of other casinos , since the play area is concentrated on one floor in a large area. Huge crowds of visitors look spectacular. There are 420 tables and 1280automatic machines in the hall. You can replenish your account in gaming terminals with banknotes. Money is withdrawn using a check, which is cashed at the cash desk. The entertainment center provides free shuttle bus services between the hotel and the port, including to the customs gate and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal.

Вид на казино с моря
There is a magnificent fountain in front of the Wynn Casino

MGM Macau

Features of the casino - architecture in the Portuguese style, regular art exhibitions, golden cloth tables. The interior is a bright art space that attracts art connoisseurs. The casino has 385 table games, 888 slot machines and 16 VIP rooms. Prices for services (food, accommodation) are much higher than in other establishments, and change seasonally.

Холл развлекательного центра
MGM Macau resembles a museum of futuristic art pieces
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Macao Casino Features

Casinos in Macau are open 24/7 because Closing establishments is prohibited by law. Exceptions are national holidays and mourning days (with government permission).

Entering the entertainment complex, visitors undergo a security check at the level of a similar procedure at the airport.

Factory dress code policy differ - it is necessary to clarify the conditions when choosing a casino. You also need to study the loyalty program. Customers can receive discounts on hotel, food and drink payments. VIP rooms must be booked in advance as they are in high demand.

Standard kazino-game24.onlineles:

  • Age limit is 21 years old. Passport must be presented. Other forms of identification may not be accepted by the security guard.
  • Cameras, laptops and luggage are generally not allowed into the hall and must be deposited in the locker.
  • Hong Kong currency is legal tender. dollars, not Macau Patacas. The latter can be used to buy chips at the cashier, but the winnings are issued only in HKD.
  • Smoking is completely prohibited in public areas, but there are special rooms.
  • Minimum value of chips (respectively, the size of bets) - 100 Hong Kong dollars. The exception is slot machines.

Macau is an attractive place for a casino player. Advantages - visa-free entry for a stay of up to 90 days, a wide selection of casinos and disciplines. The disadvantage is that the establishments are designed for wealthy customers. Tourists incur high costs for travel, recreation, food, accommodation. This is offset by the high level of services, comfortable weather, magnificent natural and urban scenery.

Richard "Boz" Bosworth General Partner and CEO young of JC Hospitality, LLC...
Nikita Sokolov
Author of analytical materials
Position: Author of analytical materials Higher education Age: 24 years old Experience: more than 5 years Brief biography: Born on March 24, 1997 in the city of Volkhov, Leningrad Region. In 2015 he successfully graduated from a secondary school, after which he entered the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics...
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