Gambling is passion and excitement. Many people love it and that’s why they bring their passion for the game to different places in the world, where they can enjoy the real spirit of gambling. But it is far not only Las Vegas where a gambler can go to in search of this one successful game that will make them rich. Referred to as the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’, Macau is a popular gambling destination, which many enthusiasts visit. Being a former Portuguese colony, in the 1850s Macau received an approval by the government of Portugal to make gambling legal. Ever since, Macau has become known as the capital of poker in Asia. Gambling is the best revenue source of Macau, bringing about fifty per cent of the city’s economy. The majority of visitors is made up of Chinese people, most of them being residents of Hong Kong.
However, there are many foreigners visiting Macau, as the number grows every year. During the years, many foreign casinos from Australia and Las Vegas have made their entrance to Macau, helping it to overtake the gaming revenue of Las Vegas in 2007. Till the 20th century, only Chinese games were played in Macau. The most well-known one was called ‘Fan-Tan’, which is somewhat similar to roulette. However, popular western casino games were then introduced in Asia, offering a variety of entertaining gambling options that are provided in the city these days. There is a number of great casinos that are worth visiting in Macau. This is our list of the best must-see casinos in the city.
Wynn Macau is a super luxurious casino resort in Macau, China, located on Rua Cidade de Sintra. It is owned and operated by Wynn Resorts. The resort offers a large casino, a hotel, several restaurants and bars, a spa centre, a music venue, called ‘Performance Lake’, many designer shops and others. The casino is the first one to be influenced by the style of Las Vegas, looking pretty much the same as its brother in Las Vegas. Its opening was in September 2006, followed by a couple of expansions and more gaming space added in 2007 and 2008. The total gaming space of the casino is now over 63 000 square metres. In 2008, Wynn Macau was one of the five hotels on the continent to be awarded the Mobil Five-Star recognition. The casino’s beautiful ceiling is made of carved golden elements, which represent the signs of the Zodiac. Wynn Macau offers traditional and contemporary table games like Caribbean Stud, Backjack, Roulette, all kinds of Baccarat and different types of slot machines.
There is also a nice poker room with pretty female dealers. There are two short but interesting show programmes that take place at Wynn Macau every day. The first one is called ‘Dragon Of Fortune’ and is performed every hour, as a dragon which blows smoke rises in the air up to eight and a half metres and is covered in over 700 metres of golden leaves. The second show is called ‘Tree Of Prosperity’ and happens every half an hour, as a huge golden tree rises up from the ground. These short spectacles not only make the casino super attractive, they turn visiting it into a lifetime experience. The majority of customers at Wynn Macau is made up of high-class people, who go there for the high-stakes games and designer shops, where Prada, Louis Vutton and Gucci can be easily found.
Grand Lisboa is a casino-hotel in Macau, which is designed by famous Hong Kong architects, Ng Chun Man and Dennis Lau, and operated by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau. The casino was opened in 2007, offering eight hundred gaming tables and a thousand slot machines. With its hight of over 260 metres, Grand Lisboa is the 118th tallest building in the whole world. The casino was the first one in the city to offer the popular Texas Hold’ em poker and the first one to offer the famous dice game Craps, which is now offered in many other casinos in Macau.
Although Grand Lisboa doesn’t evoke the same thoughts of luxury as Wynn Macau does, it is yet one of the most attractive constructions in the city. On top of the casino sits The Star of Stanley Hoe, also known as ‘the King of Gambling’, which is the largest flawless D-colour diamond in the world. Grand Lisboa, known for the biggest and best poker room in Asia, is all about gambling, and less about entertainment. The casino hosts some of the biggest poker tournaments on the continent and the best professional players in Asia. Every day eight members win a one-thousand-dollar coupon and free accommodation in one of the fancy hotel rooms.
Sands Macao is another famous casino resort in Macau, owned by the Las Vegas Sand Corporation. The casino opened in the spring of 2004 at a cost of 240 million dollars. In 2006 it was expanded to a total gaming space of over 69 000 square metres. Compared to the casinos mentioned above, Sands Macao is an older one and it’s also the first one to be operated by an international company, which paved the way for other foreigners to invest in opening casinos in the city.
Gaming, food and entertainment is provided in high levels at the resort, as a few great restaurants, show programs and many gaming options are available there. However, what stands the casino out of the crows is a 36-metre-long and 8-metre-wide chandelier, hanging in the centre of the casino. With its about six thousand light bulbs, its weight is over 45 kilos. Apart from the chandelier, the overall design of the casino is nothing too posh or special. It offers the standard things – many gambling tables and slots. The casino is the perfect option for those who simply want to gamble.
The Venetian Macao
The Venetian Macao is a lavish casino-hotel resort based in Macau, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Sands, the same company that owns Sands Macao. Opened in August 2007, the casino is by far the largest one in the whole world and the resort is the biggest single hotel structure on the continent of Asia. The lead architects of the Venetian Macao were HKS Inc. and Aedas. The casino has a total gaming space of nearly 51 000 square metres. It is divided into four large areas, each of which has a different theme. The rooms are called ‘Golden Fish’, ‘Phoenix’, ‘Imperial House’ and ‘Red Dragon’. There are over 800 gambling tables and 3400 slot machines in the casino.
However, the fact that it’s the biggest casino in the world has turned the Venetian Macao into an attraction for tourists, rather than a venue for professional gamblers. The interior of the place fascinates with its canals, bridges, buildings and squares, all of which resemble the style of the Italian city, Venice and allow visitors to feel its enchanting spirit. The resort hosts most of the international celebrities, who visit Asia, such as basketball players, music artists and many more. Except for its enormous casino, the Venetian Macao offers a golf course, a theatre, a number of fancy restaurants and many fashionable designer shops. The resort is definitely a must-see place in Macau, which gives visitors an unforgettable time.
City Of Dreams
City of Dreams is a casino resort, situated opposite the Venetian Macao on the Cotai Strip in Macau, China. Opened in June 2009, it is owned and operated by Melco Crown Entertainment, previously known as Melco PBL Entertainment. With its total gaming space of 39 000 square metres, City of Dreams is one of the fanciest mega-casinos in the city. There are over five hundred and fifty gambling tables and a thousand and five hundred slot machines. The resort also offers more than twenty food and beverage facilities. It is in a podium style and has four towers, each of which has a different name – ‘Crown Towers Hotel’, ‘Hard Rock Hotel’ and ‘Grand Hyatt Macau’, which takes the space of two towers. City of Dreams offers great entertainment. ‘Vquarium’ is an installation of four video walls that are 19 metres wide and over 6,5 metres tall. Behind each of the walls, there is a rear projector, which displays images, representing ocean scenes.
At the opening of City of Dreams in 2009, a mermaid show was displayed, which impressed all of the guests. The Bubble Fountain is another installation in the resort, which is designed to improve the retail area with its large water sphere with a diameter of 2,4 metres. A special filtration system pumps water through the sphere, allowing it to bubble water out before it falls down into the pool. There is a multi-coloured light effect, which changes its lights constantly, creating a nice colourful sight. Dancing Water Theatre is another attraction, which consists of one of the biggest commercial pools in the world, surrounded by a sloped theatre seating. There are over 2 000 seats, including a VIP area with 70 seats. The arena’s hight of over 40 metres allows acrobatic performances. City of Dreams is definitely one of the most popular casino resorts in Macau, which offer a perfect elegant environment for everyone who would like to take a bit of everything – great food, gambling and amazing show programs.
The Galaxy is another popular casino resort in Macau, located across the road near The Venetian Macao. It is owned and operated by Galaxy Entertainment Group. On top of the casino, there are six cupolas, covered in 24-carat gold. The Galaxy is connected to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and the airport, and provides its guests with free transport to and from the resort. Gambling is far not all that the casino offers. There are several attractions, such as the Crystal Gallery, the Laser Show and the Fortune Diamond Show. Visiting the Crystal Gallery, a visitor can enjoy the sight of crystals which float over water. They have motion censors, which trigger visual effects each time someone goes closer to them.
When all of them are activated, symbols of luck are displayed from the crystals and create a beautiful reflection in the water. The Fortune Diamond Show takes place every half an hour in the lobby of the casino. The fountain turns into a huge roulette wheel with a diamond on top. The Laser Show happens every fifteen minutes, as lasers, installed over the casino, project light beams into the sky, which can be seen from all over the city. It is considered the biggest laser show worldwide.
MGM Macau, previously known as MGM Grand Macau, is a nicely-designed casino resort in Macau. It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International and Pansy Ho, as the second company has a share of only 21 per cent. The casino was opened in December 2007 with a total gaming space of about twenty thousand square metres. It offers all standard table games and a range of slot machines. The interior is colourful and artistic and the exterior of the building combines golden and silver to form a splendid sight.
The resort also includes a Grand Ballroom, which is suitable for business meetings, weddings and sports events, a spa centre, a number of restaurants, bars and lounges, swimming pools and boutique shops. Later, the casino was expanded with about 4 400 square metres to the second level of the building, adding enough space for 70 more gambling tables and 240 slot machines. MGM Macau was built at a cost of 1,25 billion dollars. The resort also has an underwater realm, which is a large aquarium, offering a breath-taking experience.
Altira Macau, formerly referred to as Crown Macau, is another famous casino in Macau. The casino consists of 220 gambling tables and 500 slot machines. It is owned and operated by Melco Crown Entertainment, the company which owned City of Dreams. The casino opened in May 2007, as many famous businessmen from China and Australia were present at the grand opening. Altira Macau also offers many facilities, such as a nightclub, spa and fitness centre, business centre, several restaurants and bars and a gallery. It is located on Avenida de Kwong Tung and is open 24 hours a day.
When it comes to gambling, there are many places where a person can go to and enter into the real spirit of the game. A popular destination is Macau, for its combination of Asia and the West, which has a huge influence on the city, turning it into a great place to explore and enjoy the shiny world of gambling.