The Gambling Capital of the World

Last Modified on 1/1/1900

Where is the Gambling Capital of the World?

The betting industry is still very much alive and kicking. In all four corners of the globe, there are cities that dedicate their resources to helping bettors make extraordinary memories either on the floor of a land-based casino or at a state-of-the-art gaming terminal. If you are looking for new betting experiences around the world, we’ve put this article together to shine a spotlight on the most enjoyable casino cities on earth.

If you wondered where the world’s number-one casino hotspot is, you’d be forgiven for immediately answering with Las Vegas. For many decades, the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas has been a huge pull for casino-goers thanks to the Las Vegas Boulevard Strip – a three-mile stretch of casino resorts, each with their own unique personalities and amenities. Las Vegas has always been famed for its casino scene, but there’s so much more to Sin City. There are shows, nightlife, Michelin-starred dining and even the Grand Canyon at your doorstep.

The fact that casinos and sportsbooks in Las Vegas have become a sideshow to what the rest that the Strip has to offer, validates our view that there's a new global gambling capital in town. Head 7,316 miles away from Nevada and you’ll arrive in the Special Administrative Region of China, Macau. This autonomous peninsula used to be a Portuguese territory until the turn of the millennium, when it was handed back to the People’s Republic of China. This city-state has had a history of gambling since the 1850s, but only since the early 2000s has Macau become the “Las Vegas of the Far East”. In fact, more recently, Macau has overtaken Vegas itself to become the undisputed gaming mecca of the world.

Getting under the skin of Macau’s gaming culture

People don’t go to Macau to party, shop or enjoy fine dining. They only go to enjoy the casino action – and it shows. Macau’s casino revenues totaled $28 billion in 2016, compared with $6.3 billion in Vegas. People from mainland China flock to Macau every week to play their favorite table games. Macau and Hong Kong are the only Chinese administrations where casino gaming is legalized and regulated. As of 2016, some 38 brick-and-mortar casinos were in operation throughout Macau, which is quite some number when you consider the city is only 30 square kilometers in size.

The casino game that drives the lion’s share of revenues in Macau is baccarat. The Chinese quite literally live for the game of baccarat. That’s because it is a game of where even unskilled players can get their chance, which excites and inspires Chinese gamblers in equal measure. If you head to a Macau casino floor, you’ll be able to spot the baccarat tables just by the buzz and atmosphere around the tables. The crowds flock to tables where players are on a hot streak and attempt to cheer them on. Many of Macau’s casinos are also modeled on some of the most successful in Las Vegas, namely the Venetian and the MGM Grand. The Venetian Macau is, in fact, the largest land-based casino in the world based on gaming floor space.

What is the home of online casino gaming?

If you wondered where the world’s epicenter for online casino gaming (iGaming) is, look no further than Malta. This small Mediterranean island has been the iGaming capital for Europe and, for now, the world for some time. It’s home to some of the biggest iGaming operators and software developers and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) operates one of the most reputable iGaming jurisdictions on the planet. In fact, iGaming drives more than a tenth (12%) of the Maltese economy, with over 330 iGaming firms now calling Malta their headquarters. So, if you’re looking to broaden your gaming horizons further than your local casino or iGaming platform, there’s no better place on earth than Macau and Malta for having an outright flutter.