Macaus golden money tree
Once a sleepy colonial backwater, Macau has re-invented itself as gambling capital of the world, an outlandish Vegas-by-the-South China Sea that’s raking in more money than Vegas could ever dream of. SIMON ALLISON took a spin around the casino floor. Vegas is 20th century, and in case you hadn’t noticed, that has come and long gone.
This is no PR slogan or idle boast. If you follow the cash, and in gambling that’s really the idea, it takes you straight to this sliver of land that early colonialists carved off the rump of mainland China.
Already, the place generates six times the revenue of Las Vegas, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Except, walking from monstrous hotel to monstrous hotel, under the flashing neon lights and garish faux-everything, it’s impossible to forget Vegas.
Here’s the Venetian, transplanted entire and intact to Asia, with a Macau twist – it’s twice the size of its Vegas twin, complete with warbling gondoliers (opera-standard singers imported from Europe) and the world’s largest gaming floor. It’s a replica of a replica, magnificent in scale and ambition, even if not exactly faithful to Venice itself.
Turn a corner and there looms the MGM; turn another and Steve Wynn’s signature is scrawled in silver on the side of building.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Daily Maverick