Twenty years of Macau’s unplanned miracle

Six gaming companies have transformed a sleepy colonial outpost into one of the richest cities in the world. But despite the vast wealth, infrastructure and social policies are still lagging. As Macau celebrates twenty years since the return to Chinese rule, most observers agree that the gaming industry has produced vast fortunes, but the government’s development goals have not kept pace. “Looking back over the past fifteen years, one can easily see the contributions that the gaming industry has made to Macau’s economy,” said Andrew Klebanow, the principal of Klebanow Consulting. “Starting with the opening of Sands Macau in 2004, followed by Wynn Macau, Grand Lisboa, StarWorld, and MGM Macau on the peninsula, and culminating in the massive developments on what was to become the Cotai Strip, the industry transformed Macau into an international destination for tourism.” Ben Lee, managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting, agrees that “the development has been,...

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