The world’s top casino market in terms of gambling revenue, Macao is without doubt the jewel in Asia’s gaming crown.
The former Portuguese colony is one of China’s special administrative regions, and is the only place in the country where gambling is actually legal, which goes a long way to explaining its burgeoning gaming industry. Nicknamed ‘the Monte Carlo of the Orient’, its top casinos attract high rollers from around the globe.
In addition to slot machines and western games, many casinos also offer eastern games such as Fan Tan, a traditional favourite. The Macau Peninsula’s best casinos also feature hotels and resorts that are notable in their own right.
A Concentration of Casinos
Macau is the world’s most densely populated region, and one of its richest cities. More than 600 000 people live on slightly more than 30 square kilometres; an area smaller than New York’s Manhattan.
One of China’s top tourist destinations, the mind-boggling urban area sees casino tax contribute an incredible 75 percent of the local government’s revenue. While its tourist rate continues to grow exponentially, the majority of visitors continue to come from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.
There are more than 20 casinos on the peninsula, and 10 on the nearby Taipa Island. The largest of the gambling destinations is the Venetian Macao, which is modelled on the USA’s Venetian Las Vegas. They offer games such as pokies, baccarat, blackjack, boule, craps, Fan Tan, keno, poker, roulette, Sic Bo, and many others.
The Venetian Macao
The world’s largest casino and Asia’s largest single structure hotel, the Venetian Macao opened in 2007. It features approximately 3400 slot machines, 800 game tables, a 39-storey hotel with 3000 suites, and an entertainment and sporting arena with 15 000 seats.
Built in 1970 by Stanley Ho, Casino Lisboa is the most famous of all the casinos and hotels on China’s Macau Peninsula. In 2006, an extension called the Grand Lisboa was added.
The extension casino has the distinction of being the first in Macau to offer craps and Texas Hold’em poker ring games.
The Wynn Macau was the first Asian casino resort to offer a Las Vegas-style experience. It’s owned by Wynn Resorts, and features a large casino, a luxury hotel, boutique shops, restaurants, a spa, and a Performance Lake. The casino appeared in the 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall.
Owned by the Las Vegas Sands company, the Sands Macao features a 21 300 square meter casino and a hotel with 289 suites. More than 700 slot machines and almost 1000 games tables can be found on the casino floor.
Opened in 2007, the MGM Macau is one of the China’s most popular casinos. The casino resort wraps around Macau’s Grande Praça, and features a massive casino with slots and table games, a 600-room hotel, a Grand Ballroom, a selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges, and a spa with 12 treatment areas.
Casa Real Casino
Another of the Macau Peninsula’s popular casinos is the Casa Real Hotel’s casino, which features more than 100 slot machines and more than 50 gaming tables.