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Is Macau on the Decline?

January 3, 2024

Just a decade ago, the Chinese region of Macau was being lauded as the new casino capital of the world after overtaking Las Vegas in revenue.

Its gaming revenue was growing at a rate of nearly 40% in 2017 and early 2018, but by 2019, that growth had stalled.

A variety of factors led to a decline in the number of casino-goers heading to Macau from both mainland China and the rest of the world. This trend began in 2019 as new regulations for Macanese casinos began to make an impact and accelerated into 2020, with little sign of a recovery so far

However, unlike Las Vegas, which has seen casino-goers return to the city in droves to play popular table games like roulette and blackjack, Macau’s gaming revenues remain way below their peak.

One of the key reasons behind the success of Las Vegas is that the city offers much more to its visitors. In Sin City, you can indulge in fine dining, ride roller coasters, watch world-class entertainers, and enjoy live sports, often all under one roof.

This also means the Nevada city is much more resilient, as only around a third of the revenues generated by resorts come from gaming. The rest comes from hotel bookings, restaurants, and other facilities. In contrast, Macau has traditionally been much more reliant on its gaming floors.