Being the only city in China where gambling is legal certainly has its advantages, and one look at the spectacular Macau skyline is all it takes to see why it’s come to be known as the “Las Vegas of Asia”.
Macau is one of the most visited casino travel destinations. According to the article on Vikingslots.com site about top casino travel destinations the entire economy of Macao revolves around the casino industry.
Macau, a scenic peninsula on the south coast of China, was ruled by Portugal until 1999, where they handed it to China. After the turnover, travelling restrictions to Macau were lifted resulting in a huge rise in tourism – most of which was local and international tourists who were looking for the perfect gambling holiday.
While back in the turn of the century Macau was a much seedier and crime-ridden city, this all changed the moment casino licenses were given to Western companies looking to set up Vegas style Casinos and Hotels, investing billions of dollars into turning Macau into the Mecca of gambling.
With the recent openings of Studio City, a $3.2-billion theme park of a casino, and the colossal Wynn Palace – the most expensive casino in Macau with an estimated cost of $4.2 Billion – Macau is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
For casino lovers who fancy themselves a break at Asia’s premier gambling destination, we’ve put together a guide of the top casinos to stay in and gamble in Macau.
The tallest building in Macau, and one of the most beautiful skyscrapers you will ever encounter, the Grand Lisboa sits next to the original Casino Lisboa from the 1970’s era.
While other hotels focus on the grandeur, luxury and entertainment to accompany your gambling experience, Grand Lisboa is a resort that gets straight to the point by offering quite simply one of the best gambling experiences you’ll find anywhere in the world.
The first casino to bring in the popular Western games Texas Hold’em and craps to Macau, the Grand Lisboa features the biggest poker room in all of Asia. If you are a poker fanatic, you are bound to find all kinds of action going on at any time of the day. With over 430 gaming tables and 750 slot machines, you’ll find plenty of other gaming options to keep you entertained as well.
Described by billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn as his company’s “single most important project” to date, the spectacular Wynn Palace was inaugurated to the public on August 2016.
The first thing that will catch your eye about the Palace are its SkyCabs – a cable car system that takes guests to the hotel through an 8-acre performance lake with a choreographed show of music, light and water. To understand what it’s like, think of watching the Bellagio fountains on steroids from 90 feet in the air. Did we mention the SkyCabs will also pivot around the mouths of two gigantic golden dragons? Well, of course they do.
The most high-end resort in all of Macau also features over $100 million on artwork, including a 3-ton stainless steel Jeff Koons sculpture prized at $33.7 million, and atriums in either entrance displaying a floral carousel with 83,000 flowers and a Ferris wheel with 103,000 flowers, designed by renowned floral designer Preston Bailey and Wynn himself.
The Casino itself is an enormous 495,000 square feet space featuring 350 gaming tables and over a thousand slot machines of almost every variety you can imagine.
At 550,000 square feet, the Venetian Macao is not just the largest casino in Macau, but in whole the world.
With the Las Vegas Sands group investing over $2.4 billion in this enhanced replica of the Las Vegas original, it’s safe to say they spared no expense in making the Venetian one of the most luxurious resorts the world has ever seen.
Featuring the Grand Canal Shoppes, the premiere shopping mall in Macau, some of the best restaurants and shows in the area and, of course, the replica of the Italian canals complete with gondola rides, the Venetian is by far the most popular resort in all of Macau.
The Venetian also has an indoor arena with a capacity to seat up to 15,000 people, the Cotai Arena. This arena frequently hosts sporting events, award shows and even concerts from some of the world’s greatest pop stars, such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.
However, the Venetian’s popularity also has its drawbacks as it is estimated that around 80,000 people cross its humongous casino floor every day, making it a bit too crowded for some people tastes. If you can withstand a bit of traffic though, the Venetian features over 800 gaming tables – including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, sands stud poker, and sic bo) and well over 3,000 slot machines.
City of Dreams
Located on the Cotai Strip right across from the Venetian, City of Dreams offers gamblers a very different experience. Doing away with most of the family themed entertainment, the City of Dreams focuses heavily on providing an extraordinary gambling experience.
Consisting of four separate towers with different personalities (the Hard Rock Hotel, the Crown Towers Hotel, and the2 Grand Hyatt Macau towers), the City of Dreams features a 420,000 square-foot casino, with 450 gaming tables and more than 1,500 slot game machines.
Not only that, but Poker lovers from over 60 countries flock to CoD to play it’s bimonthly Red Dragon tournament, the biggest of this sort in all of Asia.
For those looking for entertainment after some gambling, the Dancing Water Theatre features that largest water-based show in the entire world, with 80 artists performing in a 270-degree theater.
With Melco Crown Entertainment chairman Lawrence Ho unveiling plans for Morpheus, a fifth hotel tower to be located within the City of Dreams by 2018, this immensely popular hotel complex only keeps expanding to suit player’s gambling needs.
A Hollywood-themed gambling resort that focuses on providing the ultimate entertainment experience for the entire family, Studio City is basically a theme park disguised as a casino.
To emphasize its Hollywood roots, the inauguration of Studio City was accompanied by The Audition, a $70-million 15-minute short film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Robert De Niro, commissioned to advertise the opening of the gigantic resort.
With an Art Deco design inspired by two asteroids flying through a building right out of Batman Begins’ Gotham City, Studio city boast two towers containing over 1,600 rooms, restaurants, bars, clubs, and stores .
Joining these towers is the Golden Reel, a 427-foot ferris wheel shaped like the number 8 – the first in the world. The fifteen-minute ride will take 170 guests at a time to a height of 130 meters and a magnificent view of Macau.
Other family-friendly features include the Warner Brothers Fun Zone – a 40,000 sq. foot playground featuring the most popular characters from DC Comics, Warner Bros., and Hanna-Barbera, the House of Magic theater, which showcases world-famous performers, and the much-hyped Batman: Dark Flight, a 4D flight simulator of the Caped Crusader.
With so many entertainment options, Studio City is the perfect resort for your family to enjoy while you get some action at the tables!
For more information about the city and its history, you can visit the official page of Macau Tourism.
(Image, top of story: www.trazeetravel.com).