Macau is an interesting mix of Portuguese and Chinese culture. It is a good example of how history is ever present, as Macau is one of the reminiscences of 16th Century history when Europe and China clashed. Even more interestingly many hundreds of years later it became the Asian capital of gambling, and three recent news highlight this fact.
First it was reported that some of the top poker players in the world congregated in Macau to play against wealthy businessmen in million dollar duels. Prominent members of Full Tilt Poker such as Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan as well as Titan Poker Sam Trickett made the trip in pre-organized games. Tom in particular is rumored to have won over 6 million dollars in one particular match.
As Full Tilt was closed for a long time, Titan Poker meanwhile remained the home of Sam Trickett since 2010. Note that the Titan Poker bonus for new players is one of the largest in the industry, register and you can see these pros playing online poker and learn from them. The story is that Las Vegas used to be the place where the highest stakes ring games were played daily, but now it is said that these games are drying up. But the action is moving to the East and with the economic rise of China, successful and wealthy Chinese businessmen are keen on challenging the best players in their home turf at high rollers casinos in Macau.
The second piece of news goes in the same vein as it was reported that the profits from gambling in Macau are skyrocketing while Las Vegas is still in a deep recession. By some measures the profits of Macau would be currently a few times the profits of all casinos in Las Vegas. Here again this shows how the tide is moving to Asia in many aspects of wealth creation and spending. The nouveau rich from China are big spenders and big gamblers and as casino gambling is illegal in Mainland China and Hong Kong, they come to Macau in droves, as well as other Asians.
Finally the third relevant news that came out in the past few weeks is about Stanley Ho, who is the tycoon controlling the casino monopoly in Macau (shown in the picture). He is in the middle of some legal battles against two of his four wives and ex-wives with regard to his inheritance and how it will be split among his 17 children. At 91 years old, he remains the leading and most recognized figure of Macau, but his relatives are not waiting for his death to start already trying to get a share of his many billions.
Stanley Ho is certainly one of the savviest businessmen from Asia, as he managed to obtain the gambling monopoly from the Macau Government in 1961 and still owns it to this day.