According to a New Study, Gambling Capital Macau is Winning the Game Beyond the Game

Published August 18, 2018 by Lee R

According to a New Study, Gambling Capital Macau is Winning the Game Beyond the Game

Per capita growth is strong in Macau, but how much of this is due to the gaming industry?

Global gambling mecca Macau is preparing to take the reins as richest location in the world.

New Status

By 2020, the Chinese island and the only place in China where gambling is allowed is projected to overtake Qatar as the richest spot in the world per capita.

The Figures

The winning total is set to reach $143,116 per person by 2020, according to projections from the International Monetary Fund, which will overtake current No. 1 Qatar’s $139,151.

Figures also show the wealth gap between the two continuing to widen: Macau’s GDP per capita is set to approach $172,681 by 2023 with Qatar growing only to $158,117.

Meteoric Rise

This is quite a comeuppance for the ex-Portuguese colony on China’s southernmost tip, whose independence is barely two decades old.    

Since gaining its independence, the remarkable economic rise of Macau as a gambling hub for the pan Pacific region and beyond has seen Macau’s GDP more than triple 2001’s initial $34,500 per capita in 2001.


For perspective, neighbouring Singapore will break into the six figure zone by next year and reach $117,535 for 2023, compared to neighbouring Hong Kong which is set to reach $80,000 in the same time frame according to study figures.

Macau’s Place

The niche that Macau has forged with gambling cannot be denied. Mainland junkets form China and other organized high roller ventures are becoming the norm there, and characterize the region as a cash turnover locale.

The Gaming Factor

With gambling not allowed in mainland China, that makes for a high level of liquidity all being centralized to one regional hub.

Clear links to boosts from gambling have been reported such as “game of fortune’ generating $32.68 billion for Macau. Another fun fact shows that by July 2018, the revenue from gambling business in the city had grown an additional 17.5% to generate $21.59 billion.

The Missing Per Capita Link

Since gambling remains a cash enterprise, a high turnover of liquidity can be expected, but the extent to which that translates to per capita increases would have to be further tied to how many people work within that gambling industry itself.

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