Can Macau Reinvent Itself or is it Too Late?
When you think of gambling, immediately you envision the original “Sin City” Las Vegas. But times have changed and Macau, once a quiet Portuguese colony that was handed back to China in 1999, has now become the global leader when it comes to “Sin”.
Macau today produces seven times more gambling revenues than Las Vegas with a whopping $46 billion a year and it is estimated this will triple in the next 6 years. With all this money and gambling, Macau has also developed another side, an underworld of money laundering, prostitution, corruption and loan sharks.
A key challenge for Macau is curbing the gambling addiction that has gripped so many people in Macau especially so many casino employees who have fallen prey to loan sharks.
Now some Chinese officials want to clean up Macau’s image and entice more wholesome family activities and entertainment. Similar to Las Vegas, Macau will introduce more shows, music concerts and other events beyond just being a gambling destination.
The Sands Hotel Macau hosted the Rolling Stones last week who played to a capacity crowd of 15,000 people. They have also recruited David Beckham to be their regional ambassador as he is well known for his high personal values in the hope this will help boost a new wholesome image for Macau.