|The Macau Casino experience has really been a time of ultimate highs and ultimate lows. The ultimate highs came at the start of the casino experience, when the Chinese government was starving for good gambling venues. They knew that they needed to get something done along those lines in order to avoid rising levels of public malcontent and because of that they threw open the doors of Macau to all of the biggest American gambling corporations in the world, telling them to come in and work the magic of Las Vegas in the city of Macau. The corporations readily agreed to do so and within a few years of that happening a number of new casinos dotted the Macau landscape that through word of mouth and other aggressive advertising campaigns were able to attract massive amounts of visitors from Asia and the rest of the world to the city of Macau in order to get things done. For a very long time, things were rising fast in Macau, prompting many to wonder if the city was on its way to replacing Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world.
Then, the entire thing came crashing down as the Chinese government started to get worried about how much people from the mainland were heading to Macau to gamble. In a rather misguided move to stop that from happening, they placed restrictions of one visit every three months for people traveling to Macau from the mainland and in addition to that pressured the Macau local government into placing restrictions on travel from Hong Kong to Macau. In doing so, the Chinese government was able to slow down more than two thirds of the customer traffic that Macau enjoyed and in doing so ended up hurting the city of Macau terribly. Casino revenues dried up and government cuts of those revenues became small enough to stall any progress the local government might have been hoping to make. In addition to that, American companies that were once welcomed into the country are now being treated like second class corporations and many are seriously starting to consider the idea of abandonment in light of all of the adversity they now have to face. American corporations that were previously annoyed at the US government’s attempt to crackdown on gambling are now aware acutely of just how much worse things can get in an authoritarian regime.
Fast forward to the present day and a lot of the potential the city of Macau had just a few months ago has been cut out from underneath it by the repressive policies of an authoritarian central government based in Beijing. Growth rates are no longer even close to enough for people to seriously consider the Macau to Las Vegas comparison and for that reason, Macau has simply become yet another gambling city as opposed to the fastest growing city and the only one with a true chance to supplant Las Vegas. If Macau gambling operations are ever going to get on track, they will need to be catalyzed by a cancellation of the Chinese government’s policy.