06 Feb '11, 11pm

China's twist on casino capitalism - TODAYonline

It is just 10 times the size of New York's Central Park with a population of 450,000. Its economy has been growing at twice the speed of China's for several years. Its nominal gross domestic product per capita is roughly US$40,000 ($50,983), about the same as Germany and higher than the United Kingdom. Place your bets: The city in question is Macau. Macau is China's gambling capital, the only place in a gambling-crazy country of 1.3 billion people where it is legal to bet in a casino. It is an officially sanctioned safety valve. China's frustrated gamblers are corralled into a tiny peninsula, where they spend an average 1.4 days losing bucket-loads of money, principally on baccarat. Last year, they left about US$23 billion on the table (of which Macau's government takes a 40 per cent cut) some four times the amount Americans donated to the casinos of Las Vegas. Macau has b...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC110207-0000087/C...

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