Beijing: Macao, a tiny Special Administrative Region of China, is now the world’s gambling capital, overtaking the swanky Las Vegas in revenues last year.
Macao’s 22 casinos generated a record $7.2 billion in 2006, the local government announced.
By comparison, the 40-odd casinos on Las Vegas’ famous main strip generated 6.6 billion.
Gambling earnings have boomed in Macao since 2001 when the government ended tycoon Stanley Ho’s 40-year-long monopoly on casinos in the city and allowed foreign operators, including many American giants to set up operations, ‘China Daily´ reported.
Macao, a former Portuguese colony, embraced Chinese sovereignty in 2000 to become a Special Administrative Region of China.
Interestingly, gambling is prohibited within the Chinese mainland after the Communist Party led by ‘Chairman´ Mao Zedong captured power in Beijing in 1949.