Macau Special Administrative Region, commonly
known as Macau or Macao , is one of the two special
administrative regions of the People's Republic
of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies
on the western side of the Pearl River Delta,
bordering Guangdong province in the north and
facing the South China Sea in the east and south.
The territory has thriving industries such as
textiles, electronics and toys, and a notable
tourist industry that boasts a wide range of hotels,
resorts, stadiums, restaurants and casinos.
was both the oldest and the last European colony
in China. Portuguese traders first settled in
Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered
the region until the handover on December 20,
1999. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and
the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operates
with a high degree of autonomy until at least
2049, fifty years after the transfer. Under the
policy of "one country, two systems",
the Central People's Government is responsible
for the territory's defence and foreign affairs,
while Macau maintains its own legal system, police
force, monetary system, customs policy, immigration
policy, and delegates to international organisations
economy is based largely on tourism, much of it
geared toward gambling. Other chief economic activities
in Macau are export-geared textile and garment
manufacturing, banking and other financial services.
The clothing industry has provided about three
quarters of export earnings, and the gaming, tourism
and hospitality industry is estimated to contribute
more than 50% of Macau's GDP, and 70% of Macau
is a founding member of the WTO and has maintained
sound economic and trade relations with more than
120 countries and regions, with European Union
and Portuguese-speaking countries in particular;
Macau is also a member of the IMF.] World Bank
classifies Macau as a high income economy and
the GDP per capita of the region in 2006 was US$28,436.
After the Handover in 1999, there has been a rapid
rise in the number of mainland visitors due to
China's easing of travel restrictions. Together
with the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry
in 2001 that induces significant investment inflows,
the average growth rate of the economy between
2001 and 2006 is approximately 13.1% annually.
a World Tourism Organization report of international
tourism statistics for 2006, Macau ranked 21st
in terms of tourist arrivals and 24th in terms
of tourism receipts. From 9.1 million visitors
in 2000, arrivals to Macau has grown to 18.7 million
visitors in 2005 and 22 million visitors in 2006,
with over 50% of the arrivals coming from mainland
China and another 30% from Hong Kong. Macau is
expected to receive between 24 and 25 million
visitors in 2007. Since the Handover, Triad underworld
violence, a deterring factor for tourists, has
virtually disappeared, to the benefit of the tourism
in 1962, the gambling industry had been operated
under a government-issued monopoly license by
Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões
de Macau. The monopoly ended in 2002, and several
casino owners from Las Vegas attempted to enter
the market. With the opening of the Sands Macau,
the largest casino in the world as measured by
total number of table games, in 2004 and Wynn
Macau in 2006, gambling revenues from Macau's
casinos were for the first time greater than those
of Las Vegas Strip (each about $6 billion), making
Macau the highest-volume gambling centre in the
world. In 2007, Venetian Macau, the second largest
building in the world, opened its doors to the
public, followed by MGM Grand Macau. Numerous
other hotel casinos, including Galaxy Cotai Megaresort
and Ponte 16, are also to be opened in near future.
2002, the Macau government ended the monopoly
system and six casino operating concessions and
subconcessions are granted to Sociedade de Turismo
e Diversões de Macau, Wynn Resorts, Las
Vegas Sands, Galaxy Entertainment Group, the partnership
of MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho Chiu-king, and the
partnership of Melco and PBL. Today, there are
16 casinos operated by the STDM, and they are
still crucial in the casino industry in Macau,
but in 2004, the opening of the Sands Macau ushered
in the new era.
is an offshore financial centre, a tax haven,
and a free port with no foreign exchange control
regimes. The offshore finance business is regulated
and supervised by the Monetary Authority of Macau,
while the regulation and supervision of the offshore
non-finance business is mainly controlled by the
Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.In
2007, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Macau's
foreign and local currency government issuer ratings
to 'Aa3' from 'A1', citing its government's solid
finances as a large net creditor. The rating agency
also upgraded Macau's foreign currency bank deposit
ceiling to 'Aa3' from 'A1'.
prescribed by the Macau Basic Law, the government
follows the principle of keeping expenditure within
the limits of revenues in drawing up its budget,
and strive to achieve a fiscal balance, avoid
deficits and keep the budget commensurate with
the growth rate of its gross domestic product.
All the financial revenues of the Macau Special
Administrative Region shall be managed and controlled
by the Region itself and shall not be handed over
to the Central People's Government. The Central
People's Government shall not levy any taxes in
the Macau Special Administrative Region. (Credit:
Wynn is a man who not only makes the preposterous
possible, but also profitable.
The casino mogul and billionaire turned Las Vegas
from a strip of gambling dens into a global attraction,
helping to foster the Vegas ideal that it is a
place consenting adults can see and do just about
anything imaginable (plus, of course, gamble 24-hours
that happens to include watching erupting volcanoes
and full-size pirate ship battles, then you can
thank Steve Wynn personally; he opened The Mirage,
complete with 50-feet-tall volcano, in 1989 and
Treasure Island four years later. The Bellagio
followed in 1998 with an indoor lake, dancing
fountains, high-end boutiques and an art gallery.
A keen art collector himself, Wynn owns one of
only 39 Vermeer paintings and hangs it in his
opulence and priceless pieces of art, however,
are a long way from where Wynn began.
was 20 when he inherited the family bingo parlor
business in Maryland. But it was an encounter
with Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas that made him
want to move to the desert.
to a private performance by the late singer, Wynn
recalls in his interview with Anjali Rao: "There
they were, eight feet away and full of it. There
was no comparable thing today about the glamour
of that. And at that moment, I was hooked. I wanted
to be a part of the Las Vegas scene."
finally moved there with wife Elaine in 1967,
starting out as an executive and part owner of
the Frontier Hotel.
was after some shrewd moves in the property market
-- including selling on a lot bought from billionaire
recluse Howard Hughes for $1 million profit --
that seven years later he became part of the scene
at the age of 32 when be bought the Golden Nugget.
becoming the youngest casino owner in the U.S.
and pioneering the big and brash revival Las Vegas
in the late 1980's, he has been quick to change
tack with his latest generation of mega-casinos
where it's less about things to see and more about
an experience - natural light, of all things,
is a prominent feature, in the Wynn Las Vegas
that opened in 2005.
It's still on a grand scale, like the Wynn Macau
his latest venture, which is set to be followed
by two more casinos in the former-Portuguese colony.
Wynn hopes his Asian flagship will tap into China
and the regions expanding middle classes.
pent-up demand for the good life in China is extraordinary,"
he told Anjali Rao.