These Casinos In Macau Make Las Vegas Look Like A Dump


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.

The Venetian is an enlarged replica of the one in Las Vegas.

The Venetian cost the Las Vegas Sands company $2.4 billion to build.

About $600 billion is placed in bets in Macau every year—roughly the same as all the cash withdrawn from America's cash machines each year.

Macau's casino revenues overtook those of Las Vegas back in 2006.

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.

In Macau, most of the revenue comes from gaming tables—not slot machines.

That's why casino companies can afford to build their own fake Amsterdam on Fisherman's Wharf.

The wharf also features a 130-foot-high working volcano, which erupts nightly.

The Sands Macao opened in 2004 and recouped its $265 million construction cost within a year, according to the New Yorker.

This is the Sands' fantastic chandelier.

The Sands' owner, Sheldon Adelson, has vowed to build a replica of the Las Vegas strip on an artificial pier between two Macau islands.

Like the Venetian and the Sands, MGM is also already here.

This is The Crown. Its exterior changes colours and dances like a data stream.

Macau's skyline is dominated by the Grand Lisboa, whose animated, light-filled exterior makes The Crown look boring.

The Lisboa changes colours all the time.

Macau's population is only 500,000 people. Vegas's is nearer 2 million, if you include its entire metro area.

If you don't like cards or slots, you bet on the greyhound racing at the Canidrome.

Or admire the epic Macau Tower.

Or chill out in the Sofitel's rooftop pool.

Steve Wynn opened his casino there in 2006. Two-thirds of his profits now come from Macau.

The ceiling starts glowing ...

Then it opens up and a light show starts ...

.... and this tree grows out of the floor ...

... until it meets an even more impressive chandelier than the one in the Sands.

Wynn has said he will move Wynn's corporate HQ there—once he's learned to speak Chinese.

Ready for some more amazing imagery?

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