Massive Increase in Popularity for Hong Kong Casino Ships
Gamblers from China and Hong Kong who find Macau casinos and hotels too expensive have begun booking rooms on overnight casino boats that sale about an hour from Hong Kong into international waters and then open on-board casinos.
Thanks to massive demand from mainland China, Macau is now the world’s largest gambling hub and hotel prices are higher than in Las Vegas.
As a result of lower costs, less government scrutiny and easier visa requirements, some of China’s bettors are now turning to gambling boats as an alternative.
There are eight casino boats that leave Hong Kong ever night, and visitors rose 9% to 615,328 in the first six months of this year.
Hoffman Ma, the deputy chairman of Success Universe, said that “The cruise ship can be a good substitute for mainland tourists.” His company saw profits double from its casino ship to HK$2.15 million in the first half of this year.
The ships’ popularity is also rising as Macau is struggling to keep up with accelerating demand. There have already been over 14 million tourists visiting Macau this year and the hotels have been running at close to full capacity.