Macao focus

Macao authorities secure its residents by opening casinos

By Sophie Couard

The Macao authorities have favoured the smooth functioning of the gaming industry, alerted to the predictable effects of typhoon Hato, alerted at a later date.

After typhoon Hato, at the end of last August, Macao is still in turmoil. Many people have died and part of the city is still under water. However, in casinos powered by electricity from generators, the flames continue to flare. Nothing seems to stop these immense complexes. This is precisely what many criticize the authorities for favouring the smooth running of the gaming industry, even if it takes a long time to set off an alert on the foreseeable effects of typhoon. This is a sad affair that reveals the other side of the gambling capital of the world.

Strong economic dependence

Macao's economy is highly dependent on casinos, which employ a quarter of the labour force and fill three-quarters of the government's coffers.

This form of neglect reminds us of the importance of casinos for this tiny territory of about 30 square kilometres. In Macao, there are still more than 100,000 people (representing a quarter of the labour force) working in gambling establishments. 22.8 billion in 2016 and fill three-quarters of the government's coffers. All this money has been used by the authorities to invest and retain more than 45 billion euros, or 6 years of tax revenue.

Institutionalized Clientelism

Another problem in Macao is that the same names are always found in the government, on the boards of directors of big business, in the chamber of commerce, in the casinos Sometimes one of them falls down. This is what happened to prosecutor general Ho Chio Meng recently sentenced to 21 years in prison for corruption and money laundering.

Macao Flag

The daily life of the inhabitants is difficult, especially with real estate prices, which continue to skyrocket as a result of speculation and the influx of tourists.

A difficult life for the inhabitants

Far from these privileged people, 10% of the inhabitants of the former Portuguese colony live in poverty. And the median wage is still relatively low compared to the cost of living. Due to the perverse effects of the impressive success of casinos, real estate prices continue to skyrocket due to speculation and the influx of tourists. Macao has thus grown from 9 million visitors in the early 2000s to 31 million in 2016.


This is a sad situation that has long since prompted Beijing to call on the Macao authorities to diversify its economy so that it is less dependent on casinos.

By Sophie Couard
By Sophie Couard - EDITOR

I am a great fan of gambling, I became a croupier to finance my studies. After my high school diploma in economic and social sciences , I obtained a bachelor's degree in economics and then a master in philosophy with a thesis on player behavior. After working in an online casino customer support, I became a writer on FeedBACK Casino.