Macau, the special administrative region of China and former Portuguese colony, had a six-year hot streak between 2007 and 2013. But with gaming revenues in a year-long decline, it appears that streak is ending, and the glitzy peninsula is in dire straits.
A few factors have contributed to Macau’s plummeting revenues and tourism, but most experts point to China’s anti-corruption campaign, which is making Chinese high rollers think twice about going on gambling sprees in Macau.
But that hasn’t stopped new development on the peninsula. Just recently, Galaxy Macau launched a $US3 billion casino expansion — and there’s more where that came from.
Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal. As China's middle class has risen, Macau has in turn become the largest gambling mecca in the world.
With 31.5 million visitors in 2014 -- mostly from mainland China -- Macau has solidified its status as the ultimate playground for high rollers. However ...
... gambling revenue in the glitzy peninsula reached $44 billion in 2014, but 2015 has not kept pace. New visa restrictions have cut down on tourism from mainland China and put pressure on the casinos to make up for lost visitors.
Casino revenues in Macau have been in decline since last summer. Visitors are down, and gambling revenues have fallen 37% over last year.
The Beijing and Macau governments are now pushing for a non-gaming entertainment options on the peninsula.
Over the next two years, six gaming licensees will flood the region with $20 billion in new investments, says Forbes' Muhammad Cohen, adding some 12,000 new hotel rooms.
A $3 billion expansion of the palatial Galaxy Macau casino opened on May 27, adding two new hotels with 323,000 square feet of gambling space.
The Galaxy is already considered one of the swankiest casino resorts in Macau. This latest expansion cements that status.
The addition of the Ritz-Carlton brings 250 luxurious hotel suites to the Galaxy's stable of offerings, which packs a total of five hotels, including the newly installed JW Marriott.
Here's a scale model with phases 1 and 2 of Galaxy. Phase 2 is the right-most tower that opened in late May. In between the towers is a rooftop water park, an outdoor market, and stages where bands can play.
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