Ask anyone what the world capital of gambling is and they’ll tell you it’s Las Vegas. For decades, Vegas has rightfully held the title of the world’s gambling capital thanks to the lavish casinos and hotels. The revenue it generates each year is astronomic. There are high rollers who regularly spend millions at casino tables over weekends, so it’s no wonder why the casinos look so luxurious.
However, an unlikely contender is beating Vegas at its own game in recent years. The city of Macau in China is known as Asia’s gambling capital, but if it continues its recent trend, it may strip Vegas off the title.
A Heavyweight Bout – Vegas vs. Macau
Even though the number of casinos in Macau is smaller than Vegas, the annual revenue in the Chinese city is higher. Standing at a whopping $28 billion annually, it easily destroys Vegas’ revenue of around $11 billion per year, even with a smaller overall gambling budget. In Macau, the average budget stands at $250 which is nothing to Vegas’ budget of $619. It seems like the annual revenue numbers don’t add up, but the “trick” lies in the higher table rates and percentage of visitors which are significantly higher in Macau.
The game preference in both gambling capitals is different as well. In Las Vegas, people usually play slots which have a lower bet size, while in Macau, baccarat is the main attraction. Of course, with table minimum surpassing $30, it’s clear that gambling in the Chinese city is much more expensive (in comparison, the minimum bet at online casino sites such as novibet.co.uk is $0.10). At the same time, Macau became a much more lavish destination than Vegas, offering casino floors that dwarf their Vegas counterparts and hotels that blow Vegas hotels off the face of Earth in terms of rooms.
On the other hand, Vegas has more visitors annually. This is probably tied to the fact that casinos in Vegas allow smoking and drinking on the tables, while alcohol isn’t allowed in Macau. You can still smoke, although in designated areas in the Chinese gambling capital. These are tiny differences that might not look like much on the surface but are deciding factors for many high rollers.
Who Takes the Crown?
It depends on a lot of factors. The numbers above are just for statistics – in the end, average punters will probably visit a casino that’s nearest to them. However, if you’re a player for high-stakes games and you have money to burn, you should take everything into account.
Although not cheap at all, playing in Vegas is generally cheaper. Macau’s lavish casinos and hotels cost billions to build and their owners are trying to bring the money back as soon as possible. Surprisingly, they succeed.
The games play a role as well. If you’re an occasional slot player, Vegas is your best option since Macau is oriented toward table games. So, unless you’re a high-roller spending millions at baccarat tables like James Bond, you’re better off with Vegas.