Macau to Open Gambling Rooms Only Meant For Tourists

Author Thomas Wolf
December 14, 2022 2 min read

When we talk about gambling and tourism, we often talk about Monte Carlo in Monaco or Las Vegas in the US. However, it is actually the Chinese city of Macau that is the most active gambling region in the world. And, according to some recent news, it is also aiming for things to stay that way.

Macau is the true gambling capital of the world. With over 36 land-based casinos and more than 8900 slots and 3500 table games, there should be enough entertainment to go around for everyone. This also includes tourists, who are, of course, a prized part of the gambling industry everywhere.

On Sunday 10th of December 2022, Macau’s Executive Council announced that local casinos would be eligible for some added tax benefits if they open foreigner-only gaming rooms for their establishments. Currently, casinos are required to pay 5% taxes for revenue generated by tourists from other countries. Thanks to the new measure, foreigner-only gaming rooms would make casinos exempt from this tax. The measure is projected to come into effect on January 1st 2023.

Interestingly, players from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau cannot be let into these rooms at all for the tax exemption to remain intact. For those of you keeping score, Taiwanese people are also excluded from said rooms, which is in line with the Chinese government’s thoughts of Taiwan belonging to them.

The overall taxes for Chinese casinos will remain at 40%, keeping them a great source of income for the government.

The Chinese Secretary for Administration and Justice had the following to say:

Currently, the gaming revenue created by these foreign clients is quite low, therefore we hope that these incentivizing measures request, or require, the concessionaires to launch projects to attract foreign tourists.

In other words, the hope is to make more money off of gambling-oriented people travelling to Macau. To gain entry into these foreigner-only VIP rooms, tourists are merely required to present valid photo IDs.


What an interesting development!

Personally, I have once travelled to Las Vegas before, and the idea of Sin City having so-called VIP rooms for tourists would be amazing. Obviously, we are not talking about the gambling oasis in the desert here, but the sentiment stays the same. Receiving special treatment as a casino tourist sounds phenomenal, and I have no doubt Macau casinos will also have free drinks and other similar incentives in the rooms. Think what you will about China, but these new developments definitely sound exciting for tourists who come to stamp their passports in Macau

Author Thomas Wolf


Thomas Wolf

396 articles

Thomas Wolf is our editor in chief. With an extensive background in online gambling (both working for casino operators and game studios) as well as an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, he's a proper authority on online casinos. When not running the day to day operations or reviewing new operators Thomas is a blackjack aficionado with some seriously big wins recorded at land-based casinos in both Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau.

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