THE ‘CAPITAL CITY’ OF GAMBLING IN ASIA

Asia’s very own ‘Sin City’ is Macau, the capital city of gambling in Asia.  With a massive 19% rise in gambling revenue, Macau attracted $45.2 billion in 2013 alone, beating the Las Vegas Strip hands down.  Macau is a former Portuguese colony on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, opposite Hong Kong and bordered by the Guandong Province to the north and looking across the South China Sea on the east and south.  Macau’s economy depends on gambling and tourism, especially tourists from the mainland’s Mandarin speaking regions.

Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid 16th Century, rented to Portugal by the Chinese Empire as an important trading port.  Sovereignty over Macau was handed back to China in late 1999 with the stipulation (under the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration) that Macau retain a high degree of autonomy for the next fifty years.  Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system and customs and immigration policies, although China is responsible for its foreign affairs and defence.  Macau enjoys the second highest life expectancy rate in the world and ranks high on the Human Development Index.

The city is the only place in China where casinos are legal and by 2002, Macau had become one of the world’s richest cities and is now the world’s biggest gambling centre despite covering only 15.5² km at the tip of the Macau Peninsula which joins it to the mainland, making travel to the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’ easy and affordable.  Although Macau is dependent on China for food imports its economy is boosted sky high by the influx of tourists from mainland China who visit the gambling resorts and casinos that compete easily with rivals in Las Vegas and online, with companies such as M88 Vietnam and Indonesia stepping up their activity.

The Portuguese influence has led to much of Macau’s architecture being European in style, making it a truly global city.  Entertainment is also global with Western style bars and clubs playing Western music, attracting visitors who love the night life from all over the world.  With a wealth of luxury retail outlets, including global brands like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, Macau’s high end shopping malls offer global tourists the very best the world has to offer in the 21st Century.

Macau has been described as the perfect place for gambling, gaming, nightlife, shopping and food and its exotic location attracts visitors from overseas who want the very best that the world has to offer in integrated resorts.  American casino operators (who answer to regulators back home in the US) have moved in giving Macau’s gambling industry the professionalism required to make the capital city of gambling in Asia a real force to contend with.    The city has been dubbed the ‘Las Vegas of the Far East’ by the boss of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Sheldon Adelson and its popularity as a destination for the high rollers is secure.

Now that the English Premier League is reaching the tail end of its 2013/2014 season, the question is: Who do you want to bet on? As far as the title goes, Chelsea appears to have cemented its grip with a 4 point lead at the head of the table. Similarly, Manchester United seems to be out of the running for the top spot as well.

But that doesn’t mean that the action is over – not by a long shot.

Over the coming weeks, many players and managers will undoubtedly take advantage of the international break as a chance to visit the Cheltenham 2014 Festival. Others may relax in different ways in order to prepare for last several weeks of what has been an exciting season. As a bettor, you should monitor teams closely at this stage, to see their current performance and be able to place good bets.

For the remainder of the season, the contests to watch are certainly going to be the relegation battle as well as the fight for the remaining Champions League and UEFA Cup spots. In particular for Manchester United who would not qualify for the Champion’s League next season – the heat is on for them to buck up and do better.

That being said, the road into one of those highly coveted spots isn’t going to be easy either.

When placing a bet on any game from now till the end of the season, it is worth considering the motivation factor that the teams have. As was just mentioned, the ‘big fights’ for placing are now going to begin and the teams that have a lot to lose will probably be motivated to try that much harder.

On the flipside, some teams that have little or nothing to gain may very well focus on other competitions. It really all depends on their outlook and whether or not they have anything to fight for as the season draws to a close.

Another key factor that may play a role in results over this final leg is player fatigue. With a clogged schedule from European and International competitions, some teams with small squads may very well start to show signs of being tired and not in peak condition. Similarly the teams with larger squads and the luxury of being able to rotate players may very well do better.

At the end of the day, it all could go down to the wire!

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