"Macau is on China's southern coast, 37 miles west of Hong Kong. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China. The economy is mainly supported by gambling and tourism. In fact, its gambling industry is seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was leased out by the Chinese government for centuries before finally being returned to Chinese control in 1999. With a population of about 670,000 and an area of only 12.7 square miles, Macau has the reputation of being the most densely populated region in the world .