Las Vegas vs. Macau: Which City Wins the Casino Race?

Macau has long been viewed as the Chinese replica of Las Vegas and the number two destination for world’s most avid gamblers. However, as the Chinese economy is on the rise, could Macau be taking over the casino reign from the one and only Las Vegas?

Macau has a much longer history than Las Vegas because it was founded back in the 16th century by Portuguese colonialists. While Las Vegas is the gambling centre in the US and draws a lot of international visitors, Macau is Asia’s biggest playground, which is a much bigger market.

To answer the question and compare the two, we will look at the numbers we found on the infographic compiled by These numbers are closely associated with these two gambling havens and actually depict their similarities and differences.

Who Are the Main Visitors?

First of all, to put things into perspective, it is important to note how much bigger Las Vegas is compared to Macau. The city of Las Vegas covers an area of 352 km2, whereas Macau covers an area of just 29.5 km2. Nonetheless, their populations are pretty much the same. Around 640,000 people live in Las Vegas, while that number is 612,000 in Macau.

The number of visitors the two cities have is also pretty similar. Around 42 million people visit Las Vegas every year, whereas more than 30 million people head to Macau in search of the fulfilment of their dreams.

The demographics of these visitors are very different, which tells us why Macau might be winning the race. Around half the visitors in Las Vegas come from the western United States, 20% are international visitors, while the rest are mixed.

When it comes to Macau, two-thirds of visitors come from China and one-fourth from Hong Kong and Taiwan. It’s important to state that China has a population four times larger than the USA, which is a much bigger market to cover.

The Revenue and the Number of Casinos

In financial terms, compared to Macau, Las Vegas looks like an amateur. The American gambling center has a GDP of around $103 million, which is a trifle compared to Macau’s $63 billion. The GDP per capita in Macau is more than double of that in Las Vegas. But, how is this possible?

Las Vegas has 104 casinos in total in the city, whereas Macau has 49, which is why the competition is much weaker. On the other hand, the 68 hotels in Las Vegas provide 16,791 rooms, whereas the 75 hotels in Macau provide 30,000 rooms. The biggest difference is in the number of game machines – Las Vegas has almost 200,000 of them, whereas Macau has barely 8,500.

Therefore, we can conclude that Macau is more focused on providing service not just for gamblers, but for whole families for whom spinning the wheel of fortune is just part of the package. So far, it seems that this strategy is working well.

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