Macau, a former Portuguese colony, is the only Chinese region that allows cash games. In a few years it has succeeded in dethroning Las Vegas by pocketing almost 38 billion dollars in 2012. From year to year, players from the neighbouring countries arrive en masse to spend their money in the many luxurious casinos in Macau. This phenomenon will probably increase even more if permission to gamble isn’t extended to the local people in the surrounding countries.
Casinos : Asia and its contradictions
As regards gambling the policy in Asia is full of contradictions. If one takes Vietnam, this country has seven land based casinos which last year generated almost 54 million euros in tax revenue. But what is surprising is that these casinos are only open to foreigners who arrive en masse to chance their luck. The Vietnamese who are very fond of gambling have no other choice than to fulfil their passion in the neighbouring country of Cambodia. The latter has an identical policy for its own population and this forces the Cambodians to go to Vietnam.Singapore has found a completely new way to dissuade the middle classes from spending its money in one of the numerous casinos in the country. Of course it doesn’t block entry to its casinos to the local population but makes them pay a 60 euro entry fee. Only people receiving state aid, the unemployed and the owners of bankrupt businesses cannot enter casinos. The entry checks are so stringent that no one can slip by and this satisfies the government which wants to protect its population from the risk of addiction and all the consequences it brings. Singapore is well aware of its inhabitants infatuation with cash games and the increase in the number of its casinos which generated about 5 billion dollars in 2011, represents quite a danger.These countries claim that above all they wish to protect local gamblers so they don’t become addicted and so protect whole families who risk breaking up. But can one really believe this when it is well known that gambling fans will just go to clandestine casinos or to neighbouring countries to fulfil their passion?