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Macau Gambling Facts

  • The territory of Macau has long been dubbed "The Monte Carlo of the Orient" as it has an economy that relies on gambling. Today the gambling industry generates over 40% of the Macau's GDP.

  • Gambling in Macau was legalized in 1847 under Portuguese rule.

  • The first casino monopoly franchise was granted to the Tai Xing Company in 1937. Only Chinese games were provided by the company at that time.

  • In 1962, the government granted the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM) the monopoly rights to all forms of gambling. This monopoly was extended in 1986 for an additional 15 years.

  • After Macau's handover to China in 1999, the new Special Administrative Region (SAR) awarded gambling licenses to other companies to eliminate STDM's monopoly.

  • Macau has nine casinos. The biggest one is the Casino Lisboa. All are open 24-hours a day and there is no entry fee.