China creating more gaming billionaires than Vegas

The days when the bright lights of Vegas illuminated the world’s richest gamblers are long gone. Just eight years ago, the once-named Gambling Capital of the World was suddenly overtaken ‘new kid on the block’: Macau.

Macau -- China’s only region where gambling is legal -- now generates seven times more revenue from its casinos than Vegas, making nearly $50 billion last year in comparison to the relatively paltry $6.5 billion generated by Sin City.

And now it seems that Macau’s players themselves are far outstripping players in the US in terms of money earned through gambling. In the latest Rich List published by Forbes, several billionaires listed gambling profits as their main income and, out of the top ten richest of those gamblers, eight had links to Macau. The majority of the rest of the list were also based in other Asian regions such as Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

It seems then that the one-time greats of the gambling industry are now being overtaken by Asian business people who have been smart enough to capitalise on this burgeoning market. Where MGM International Resorts founder Kirk Kerkorian once proudly topped many of Forbes’ lists, he is now only 328th on the latest directory -- far outranked by those doing business in China and other Asian countries. ;

Industry experts say that the statistics are just a sign of further growth to come. It seems logical to assume that the more gambling billionaires are created in Macau the more will keep returning to play there, injecting ever-increasing amounts of money into the region.

The economic success witnessed in the area is also likely to be piquing the interest of China’s neighbours. Although gambling games are hugely popular in Asia, the hobby is largely illegal in the continent and much of Macau’s success has come from being the only place people can go to gamble legally throughout China. After seeing the beneficial impact the legalisation of gambling has had in Macau however, other countries are now looking to follow suit, with governments in the likes of Vietnam and Japan now considering overturning their strict anti-gambling laws. Maybe turning to both online casino gambling sites such as M88 vao and sbobet and also the bricks and mortar casinos.

If such a u-turn were to occur, the growth in the market would be meteoric. It is this revenue potential that pundits believe is driving up stock prices for Asian gambling companies far faster and greater than any growth seen -- or likely to be seen again -- in America.