With restrictions on casino gambling, Hong Kong investors turn to the “Asian Las Vegas” to strike it rich on the new Forbes list.
Forbes recently released its 2014 Asia Top 50 “rich list”, with investors in Macau casinos coming out resoundingly on top. Both cities are autonomous Chinese territories, but only Macau is a gambling giant. Wealthy Hong Kongers are parking their cash in casino projects there, and reaping huge rewards.
According to Hong Kong gambling laws, sportsbetting is legal while land-based casinos are not. Wealthy businesspeople hungry for investment opportunities are getting around this by investing in Macau’s burgeoning casino industry.
Macau has topped Las Vegas as the world’s leader in casino revenue, growing by 18.6 percent in 2013. Foreign investment has poured in since the government opened the city’s casino market to competition a decade ago.
Hong Kongers use Macau to climb Forbes List
Galaxy Chairman Lui Che Woo has used investment in Macau casinos to jump to #2 on the list, boasting a net worth of $21 billion. His single-year gain of $11.5 billion exceeded that of anyone on the list.
Four who made the list have connections to Stanley Ho, the Macau casino magnate. Ho’s third and fourth wives and two of his children occupied leading positions.
While Hong Kong investors are really hitting the jackpot in Macau, Vegas good ol’ boys Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn are drinking from the same tap. Adelson’s Macau Sands made gambling news while growing by 85 percent last year, with Wynn Macau growing 75 percent.