The former Portuguese colony of Macau on the southern coast of China is famous for being a gambling centre whose casinos rival those of Las Vegas. Portugal handed Macau back to China in 1999 and it is now the only place in the People’s Republic where gambling in casinos is legal. Macau has been known as “the “Monte Carlo of the Orient” since the mid-nineteenth century when gambling was introduced by the Portuguese and it now makes up half of the area’s income.
There are two gambling strips in Macau, one on the Macau peninsula and another, the Cotai Strip, on Taipa Island and reclaimed land around it. Between them, the two strips offer gamblers the choice of twenty six casinos.
The casinos of Macau attract hundreds of thousands of gamblers from across Asia. This special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China is the Las Vegas of the Far East with bright neon signs, nightclubs and shows as well as massive casinos. All the usual casino games are available including baccarat, blackjack, poker and roulette as well as Chinese ones such as Sic bo and Fan-Tan.
The Venetian casino on the Cotai Strip in Macau extends over forty floors and at ten and a half million square feet is the sixth largest building in the world by area. The Venetian is the biggest casino in the world with around three and a half thousand slot machines and eight hundred gaming tables divided into four themed areas called Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix.
The Venetian in Macau. Photo @ Flickr by YST (aka kryptos5)
City of Dreams
The City of Dreams casino is also on the Cotai Strip, right opposite the Venetian. The City of Dreams complex consists of four towers that include the Hard Rock Hotel, Crown Towers Hotel and the Grand Hyatt Macau. The casino itself covers four hundred and twenty thousand with 1,500 slot machines and five hundred and fifty gaming tables as well as a 175,000 square feet luxury shopping center called The Boulevard. There are also two theaters in the City of Dreams, The Bubble and The Dragons Treasure which features the biggest water show in the world.
City of Dreams. Photo @ Flickr by GLing526
The Grand Lisboa
Away from the Cotai Strip, the 58-storey 856 foot high Grand Lisboa casino is located on the main Macau peninsula. Opening in 2007, it has over a thousand slot machines and eight hundred gaming tables. The Grand Lisboa, the tallest building in Macau, was the first casino in Macau to offer gamblers Texas hold ’em poker and has since played host to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. Poker Stars Macau began at the Grand Lisboa in 2009. Today, you can also play poker at the Venetian as well as at the Grand Lisboa.
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Photo I took of the Macau casino strip. The huge structure on the left is of the Grand Lisboa, as you can read at its top.
If you’re looking for a change from Las Vegas, give Macau a try.
Have you visited Macau? How much of a gambler are you? Do you usually win or loose money? Share your best tips and any comments in the section below, and this post too if you liked it!
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