Macau’s Mafia Connection to Las Vegas Casino Industry

It is common knowledge that the casino industry can be sometimes related to criminal and “mafia”. And which place on the planet comes first to your mind when speaking of casinos? You are right, Las Vegas! If you ever thought about what kind of influence Macau’s mafia has on Las Vegas, you are probably not the only one. 

As a matter of fact, when someone mentions Nevada, casinos and mafia you will probably think of triads. Triads are the Asian version of the Mafia, infamous for different criminal organizations in Macau. Shootings, spreading terror and ruling the region were trademarks of triads. And even if the times changed, and these criminal groups are not they used to be, it is said that they still run the city’s VIP casino rooms.

Macau’s Mafia Origin

Triads are a transnational organized crime syndicate from China which has outposts all over the world. The organization settlements are usually located in cities with the higher Chinese population. Triads used to be secret societies in ancient China. These interesting stories and facts might sound unbelievable, but they are true.

Casino fans, experienced gambler and university students are always excited to learn about the casinos’ turbulent history and spend some time looking for low deposit casinos in the UK at Casinosters. After all, finding a minimum deposit casino is always a good deal.

Some believe that the reason behind the formation of these organizations in the 17th century is dissatisfaction and rebellion against the Qing Dynasty. What relates this criminal to Macau is the fact that some of the gangs relocated there and Hong Kong after the Chinese Communist Party came to power. Actually, Hong Kong became the city known as the triad’s capital. 

Back in the days, the organization had millions of members. However, nowadays the number of people affiliated with the gang is much lower. 

The Connection to Las Vegas Operators

Often named Asian’s Las Vegas, Macau seems to share more with this Nevada’s city. As a matter of fact, Macau is one of the main casino and online gambling centres in the world – and the industrial revolution was driven by Las Vegas businessmen such as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn. Macau mafia was supposedly indirectly cooperating with these transnational gaming figures.

Sheldon Adelson the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino, an American casino corporation and resort in Nevada, had Sands as his first casino property in Macau. Some claim that this was the best example of how China and transnational capital cooperate. Adelson’s ties to such organized crime and potential illegal dealing are what sets the foundation for Macau’s mafia operation in Las Vegas. 

Apparently, Sheldon Adelson was determined to set his foot in this former Portuguese colony infamous for casino mafia and gangster wars. Moreover, China opened up its casino sector to foreign casino brands in 2001, and it was only logical that Adelson took advantage of the opportunity. He then established Sands Macau, the casino industry in the city boomed and it became Asia’s Las Vegas.

More Operators 

Macau is now behind some of the largest American casinos, including Sands. The most famous ones are Wynn Resorts Ltd and MGM Resorts International rode. As the US operator saw the opportunity they decided to move past Las Vegas and follow the Adelson’s steps. The gambling appetite of Macau are enormous, and the casino industry and gambling are more of a culture.

Macau’s gambling industry has much bigger revenue that the US companies, which was the deciding factor of these brands to go abroad. The US companies in Macau such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Wynn Resorts take up to a third of that revenue. The thirst for Asian money is affecting Las Vegas as well. Casino operators used to try changing the way they operate in the past, in order to embrace some Macau-style features. 

As this started happening, the influence of organized crime was felt in the casino industry. Chinese gangs might not be ruling the Sin City casinos as they used to, but their presence is still felt. 


Since the casino industry is supply-driven and growing the involvement of such organizations is simply imminent. Too much is at stake, and the industry digits are pretty high. Nobody knows to what extents goes the ruling power of Macau mafia in Las Vegas nowadays, but it certainly left a big mark on Nevada’s casino industry.