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Gaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macao

Edited by Ian Scott, Newman M K Lam

Publication Year: 2011

The small city of Macao — formerly a Portuguese colony, now a Special Administrative Region of China — liberalised its gaming industry in 2002. Since then a score of new casinos have been built and millions of gamblers have flooded in from mainland China. Per capita income has more than doubled in five years and the gaming operators have outstripped their Las Vegas counterparts in revenue and profits. But rapid economic growth has also brought social and political problems. In this structured survey of modern Macao, 15 experts examine the effects of massive foreign investment, the problems of governance, and increasing public policy challenges in a time of rapid change and potential social instability. They also discuss the efficacy or otherwise of measures to address economic hardship, social dislocation and political change over the past decade. Gaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macau will be of interest to anyone concerned with the gaming industry and its uses in strategies for economic growth. For those who want to know more about Macao than its gaming tables and neon lights, the book will provide a range of interpretations of the way in which the city is developing.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi

List of Figures, Plates and Tables

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiii

Since the liberalisation of its gaming industry in 2002, when a monopoly provider was replaced by six competing concessions, Macao has experienced remarkable economic growth. A score of new casinos have been built, millions of gamblers and tourists have flooded in from across the border...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xv

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A Note on the Place Name and the Currency

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pp. xvii

The official name for Macao is Macao and generally we follow that usage in this book. However, some organizations and institutions, such as, for example, the University of Macau, use the alternative spelling and we follow their practice where appropriate. ...

List of Contributors

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pp. xix-xx

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1. Social Stability and Economic Growth

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pp. 1-15

Since the 1967 demonstrations, when a spillover from the Cultural Revolution in China undermined the colonial administration, the Macao government has been fundamentally concerned with the search for social stability and the need to find sources of sustainable economic growth. ...

Part I: The Gaming Industry and Its Critics

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2. The Development of the Gaming Industry and Its Impact on Land Use

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pp. 19-35

Over the past few years, the gaming industry has changed the face of Macao and the lives of its citizens. The liberalisation of casino licensing in 2002 and the implementation of the Chinese government’s new visa regulations in 2003, which permitted many mainland Chinese to travel to Hong Kong...

Image Plates 2.1-2.3

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3. The Impact of Gaming Liberalisation on Public Opinion and Political Culture

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pp. 37-54

Before its reunification with China, Macao had a political culture1 which emphasised social harmony and tolerance. Its population was characterised as politically inactive and was believed to be mostly either hostile or apathetic towards politics (Lin, 1998). Community views were expressed...

Part II: Governance

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4. Executive-Legislative Relationships and the Development of Public Policy

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pp. 57-74

The political system of the Macao Special Administrative Region retains the colonial practice of executive domination over other governmental institutions. This role is formally recognised in the Basic Law, which concentrates administrative and legislative power in the hands of the Chief Executive...

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5. Challenges and Threats to Traditional Associations

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pp. 75-88

Associations, comprising groups of like-minded citizens sanctioned, recognised and funded by the government, have long occupied a unique position within Macao’s polity. The traditional associations — the Macao Chamber of Commerce, the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, the General Union...

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6. Civil Service Reform: Building Basic Administrative Capacity

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pp. 89-106

In a situation of high economic growth and low social stability, even if in the short term rapid economic development has a stabilising effect, longer term structural destabilisation is a likely result. A preferred scenario is, obviously, therefore to have rapid economic growth combined with high social stability (Eisner, 1992). ...

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7. Improving Productivity through Efficiency Wages: The Case of the Civil Service

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pp. 107-125

This chapter analyses the efficacy of the Macao government’s attempt to improve the motivation and productivity of its civil service by achieving higher effort levels through a wage increase. Wages are probably the most popular motivational tool used by employers to raise the effort levels of employees...

Part III: Public Policy

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8. Labour Policy: Resolving the Mismatch between Demand and Supply

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pp. 129-144

Macao suffers from the dual problems that the local labour supply is insufficient to meet the demands of a sophisticated economy but that it has nonetheless persistent structural unemployment concentrated mainly among the less educated and the older age groups. ...

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9. Labour Regulation in the Liberalised Casino Economy: The Case of the Croupiers

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pp. 145-161

The proliferation of casinos over the past few decades has gone hand in hand with the advance of the neoliberal global economy. The governments of the developed world have resorted to casinos as a source of painless taxation to bridge shortfalls in social expenditure and their reduced...

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10. Education Governance and Reform: Bringing the State Back In

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pp. 163-181

This chapter examines education policy, reform and governance in Macao over the past two decades, a story of increasing state intervention with the impetus for change coming from the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987 and the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative...

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11. Housing Policy: A Neoliberal Agenda?

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pp. 183-196

Concomitant with the macro-economic changes that have taken place in Macao over the last decade is the transformation of its built environment. Investors have been looking beyond the roulette and baccarat tables for better investments, particularly investors from mainland China. ...

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12. Social Welfare Policy: A ‘Flexible’ Strategy?

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pp. 197-214

The transfer of sovereignty from Portugal to China has had a significant impact on the social welfare system in Macao. Before the 1980s, there was no strong demand for the colonial government to develop a social welfare system. Since the initiation of the Sino-Portuguese talks in the 1980s...

Part IV: Conclusions

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13. Gaming, Governance and Public Policy: Constraints and Opportunities

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pp. 217-224

The impact of foreign investment, concentrated on a single industry over a very short period, has resulted in a range of economic, political and social problems that need to be addressed if the polity is to be steered from its present volatility to the future calmer waters of high growth and social stability. ...

Appendix, Timeline: Macao 1999–2010

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pp. 225-241

Notes and References

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pp. 243-267

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 269-281


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pp. 283-290

E-ISBN-13: 9789888053827
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888083282

Publication Year: 2011