Despite a trade war threatening the future of the Macau gambling market, the special administrative region of China is expected to soon become the world’s richest jurisdiction.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Macau is expected to have per capita GDP equivalent to $143,000 USD in 2020, reported the South China Morning Post.
The amount would be more than what Quatar, which currently holds the top spot at around $130,000 per capita GDP, is expected to reach in a couple of years.
Singapore, Luxembourg and Hong Kong were also among the wealthiest on the list.
Macau’s per capita GDP dwarfs mainland China’s roughly $18,000 per capita GDP. The figure for the entire United States is about $60,000. Las Vegas, home to America’s gambling hub, has per capita GDP of about $44,000—and it’s expected to fall slightly over the next few years.
Macau, which has about 650,000 people in addition to its tourists, is the world’s most lucrative gambling hub. Casinos dominate the local economy. It’s also considered the most densely populated jurisdiction in the world. Macau, the only place in China with legal gambling, had gaming win of $33 billion last year, nearly three times what was won in the state of Nevada. Gaming revenues are up sharply in Macau thus far in 2018.
The local casino industry is on a roughly 24-month winning streak after a massive gambling market contraction just a few years ago after Beijing clamped down on corruption. In 2015, Macau’s GDP fell by 20 percent when the casino industry was in free fall.
The gambling enclave had GDP of about $45 billion in 2016.