With the world economy going down the proverbial tubes thanks the downward spiraling American economy it’s probably no surprise that the casino’s around the world are suffering. Except, it seems, in Macau, China. The city has managed to surpass Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world. And we’re not talking about just a little bit either.
Macau surpassed Las Vegas in the first quarter of 2008 with an earnings increase of 62%. They cleared $3.8 billion since January, putting them in a league of their own while Vegas is having a hard time generating the revenue they are used to. The state of the American economy is keeping more people home or spending less time staying at the casino resorts on the Strip. And if they are staying in Vegas, they are not staying at the most expensive and fanciest places that they usually do. With less disposable cash to spend on Blackjack, Roulette, and slot machines, Vegas is hurting.
What’s an even harder smack in the face of Las Vegas is that all of their high-rollers are traveling overseas and being wined and dined in Macau. People from around the world, including the big gamblers from China, are traveling to Macau and spending their money, a big convenience for those Chinese gamblers who used to go to Vegas. But that doesn’t mean the American casinos are losing money. As a matter of fact, some of them are fairing quite nicely.
Steve Wynne and Sheldon Adelson, both who own large casino resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, have Vegas style casinos in Macau. There are already other big name casino owners who are planning on or already building new establishments in Macau. With the loosening of gambling laws in the United States and Macau’s gambling economy booming, the Las Vegas dilemma is getting worse. These owners are doing the smart thing by expanding their operations into other countries and areas in which the gambling boom is still going strong.
The casinos in Las Vegas have been trying to recoup their losses by cutting back on the many freebie promotions they offer and even letting go employees. MGM let over 400 members of their middle management staff go in an effort to save some of the money they are losing. While the situation in Vegas has not caused any of the casino resorts to close their doors or file bankruptcy, the economy may cause this to happen before it starts to improve.