Troubled Times for Macau's Casinos
Macau has set out to be Asia's new gambling centre, but recently tourists have been coming slowly and expectations have fallen behind. Two new casinos, the Galaxy Macau and Melco Crown's Studio City, opened in October in an attempt to attract new visitors.
The former Portuguese colony, reached an income of 45 billion dollars in 2013, but since then revenue has declined by a third. Still , Asia's top gambling hub makes 7 times more money than Las Vegas.
One of the reasons for the decline of Macau's gambling industry is the slowing down of Chinese economy. Most of the island's customers are wealthy people from the Chinese mainland. Macau is the only place where Chinese citizens can gamble legally.
But this has led to widespread corruption throughout the island. Chinese authorities, who have been in control of the island since 1997, have been cracking down on illegal businesses and money laundering.
Although the number of visitors to the island has gone down, investment is still big. Recently new casinos have expanded their attractions in an attempt to make the island more family-friendly. The world's largest rooftop swimming pool and a gigantic roller coaster are two new attractions that have been added. Hotels are offering their rooms at lower prices too.
Casino lights in Macau - Image: Brenden Brain
- attempt = try
- attract = here: to get someone to come there
- authorities = government organisations with a lot of power
- billion = a thousand milloion
- corruption = dishonest or illegal behaviour especially from someone who is in power or in a government position
- crack down = to become more strict in dealing with a problem and to punish the people involved
- customer = here: people who come to the island to spend money gambling
- decline = to go down
- economy = system by which a country buys and sells products and controls its money
- expand = grow, make larger
- expectation =what you expect
- former = in the past
- gambling = to risk money by playing cards or putting it into slot machines etc...
- gigantic = very very big
- hub = centre
- illegal = against he law
- income = the money you get from your businesses
- investment = to spend money on a project in order to get more out of it
- legally = to have the right to do something
- mainland = here: Communist China
- money laundering = when you put money that comes from illegal places into legal banks or complies in different countries, so that nobody can find out where it came from
- offer = give
- recently = a short time ago
- revenue = income, the money you get from a business or company
- rooftop = on top of a roof
- set out = to have a plan to do something
- throughout = on all of
- wealthy = rich
- widespread = throughout the island