MRI Forum 82

The Society, Economy and Politics of Macao's Casino Capitalism: Crisis or Opportunity?

by Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015







Press Play to listen (Full length: 55 minutes)

More on the Presentation

Macao's casino industry has seen a drop in revenues in the recent months. Is this a crisis or an opportunity for the industry to revamp itself, or for Macao to diversify its economy? This talk will discuss the ramifications of Macao's casino capitalism and its current "consolidation" stage of development. It will argue that while most optimists see Macao's casino industry as being backed by the central government in Beijing, the reality is that the Chinese economic national security has long been neglected in the discussions of Macao's casino development. The Chinese government has regarded political and economic national security as of paramount importance. As such, Macao's casino industry needs to adapt to the Beijing concerns. The current consolidation stage of Macao's casino industry has seen some degree of economic diversification, focusing on eco-tourism, cultural heritage, and the full utilization of Hengqin-Macao cooperation opportunities. Perhaps it is time for the people of Macao, its government, the casino sector, the business and universities to think deeper about how to diversify the economy of Macao collectively while moulding Macao's casino industry in a very unique way.

More on the Speaker

Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo is Professor and Head in the Department of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He wrote on the politics of Hong Kong and Macao, focusing on the aspects of governance, cross-border crime, police cooperation and democratization. His books on Macao include Political Development in Macau (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1995), Political Change in Macao (London: Routledge, 2008), and the forthcoming The Society and Politics of Macao's Casino Capitalism. Prior to his return to Hong Kong in late 2010, he had worked at the University of Waterloo (Canada), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Murdoch University (Australia), Lingnan College (Hong Kong), and the University of East Asia, Macau.