Photo: Ponch 23 / Flickr, CC
Most people think Las Vegas is the capital of the casino world.It’s not.
Casino revenues in Macau, the semi-autonomous administrative region of China, surpassed those of Vegas years ago.
Gambling turnover in Macau is now five times that of Vegas, annually, according to The New Yorker.
And Macau, like Vegas, is building new casinos as fast as it can. Some of them are eye-poppingly awesome. Take a look.
Historically, Macau was a Portuguese colony protected by the Monte Fort, a castle built in 1617. This is a view through one of its walls.
This is the Venetian Macau, the biggest of the 33 casinos in Macau. It has the largest casino floor in the world.
About $600 billion is placed in bets in Macau every year—roughly the same as all the cash withdrawn from America's cash machines each year.
Today, Macau's casino sector is more than five times bigger than Vegas's. This is the Galaxy casino.
Macau's economy is growing at a rate of 19 per cent per year—faster than mainland China. This is the StarWorld Hotel.
The Sands Macao opened in 2004 and recouped its $265 million construction cost within a year, according to the New Yorker.
The Sands' owner, Sheldon Adelson, has vowed to build a replica of the Las Vegas strip on an artificial pier between two Macau islands.
Macau's skyline is dominated by the Grand Lisboa, whose animated, light-filled exterior makes The Crown look boring.
Macau's population is only 500,000 people. Vegas's is nearer 2 million, if you include its entire metro area.
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