Souvenirs from Macau
Macau is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, and a mecca for gambling enthusiasts. As a result, there are not very many traditional handicrafts to offers as Macanese souvenirs, but you can pick up lots of postcards, coffee cups, T-shirts, key chains, magnets and notepads with various slogans and images of the region. Your hotel may also offer branded merchandise, such as embroidered bath robes, water bottles and chocolates. If you are visiting a casino, you can often buy cards, poker chips and dice that were used in the gaming rooms, emblazoned with the casino name and location for an interesting souvenir from Macau. Its close location to Hong Kong means that you can also purchase souvenirs, clothing and electronics at excellent prices. Traditional Chinese handicrafts are also widely available, such as silk robes and paintings, jade statues, tea sets and cosmetics, for tourists to purchase.
Macau's Gaming Industry
Known as the "Monte Carlo of the Orient," Macau is an epicenter for gamblers to enjoy high stakes games and luxury on the Asian continent. Legalized in the 1850's by the Portuguese government in an effort to raise tax revenue, gambling has provided over 50% of the local economy for decades. The original game played in Macau was fantan, a form of Chinese gambling, and remained the sole form until recently. Currently, there are 3 major types of gaming available: horse and greyhound racing, casino games and sports betting. There has always been a question if the social problems of crime and addiction are worth the riches brought in by gambling, but it appears, that for the time being, Macau will continue to enjoy the wealth. Many casino chains have opened, and employ a significant part of the population, injecting millions into the local economy and providing 70% of the government's tax revenue.