04 Apr, 2021
According to the World Bank, Macau, a former Portuguese colony that has been China's autonomous territory for 15 years, surpassed Switzerland in GDP per capita in 2013. Tourism and the influx of gamblers from China have helped Macau grow its GDP per capita by 18.4%. GDP per capita in Macau is $ 91,376, while in Switzerland it is $ 80,528.
In terms of countries, Macao lags behind only Luxembourg, Norway and Qatar (although the World Bank does not provide data from recent years on the richest countries in the world, such as Liechtenstein and Monaco).
Macau grew by 557% after joining China in 1999 as the 607,000-strong city became a gambling mecca. Its biggest leap came when China lifted its gambling monopoly in 2002 and handed over casino licenses to six operators, including Sand's China, Wynn Macau and SJM. Macau's gaming revenue in 2013 was $ 45 billion, seven times more than in Las Vegas.
The development of the gambling business has benefited local residents, created many jobs and reduced the unemployment rate to 1.7% in 2013. Also, the local government is trying to increase the welfare of the local population with the help of subsidies allocated annually from the income of the gambling business. In 2014, that number was about $ 1,200.
Analysts expect strong Macau economic growth to continue, with gambling business operators opening even more hotels and gambling establishments. Macau’s most optimistic forecast, given by the brokerage group CLSA, was justified and by 2018, gambling revenues had reached $ 90 billion. According to CLSA analysts, more Chinese will visit the city thanks to the development of high-speed rail and other means of transport. For example, the world’s longest bridge was to open in 2017, making it possible to receive tourists in Macau within 30 minutes of Hong Kong Airport. At the same time, the city has its own international airport.
The transformation of Macau into a gaming center has also contributed to the development of sports and entertainment tourism. The city is constantly visited by music stars such as the Rolling Stones and famous athletes such as David Beckham and Tiger Woods.
To summarize, tourism accounts for about 40% of the city's GDP, while the gaming industry generates $ 37.6 billion in revenue. 70% of the working age population of the city is employed in this business. The gambling business contributes 80% of the local budget revenues or $ 12.3 billion annually.