chapter  6
6 Pages

The Case of Gambling in Macau

The “Monte Carlo of the East”
ByDesmond Lam

Macau, the "Monte Carlo of the East" and "Asia's Las Vegas", has been a gambling city for centuries. In 1847, the Portuguese colonial government in Macau formally legalized gambling to generate more revenue for the colony. The social and economic impact of casino gambling in Macau to the mainland China is enormous. Chinese core cultural values have influenced the way the gambling business is organized in Macau. Issues relating to problem gambling and organized gambling crimes will continue to haunt Macau, the only Chinese city that legalized casino gambling. The explosive growth in Macau's VIP casino-gaming junket operations has inevitably resulted in social ills, particularly in mainland China. As mentioned earlier, media reports on crimes relating to excessive gambling in Macau by mainland Chinese climbed significantly since the liberalization of the casin-gaming industry in Macau. The former board chairman of the Gas Administration Corporation of Haikou embezzled more than RMB 10 million of public money for gambling.