It is a fact universally acknowledged that Asian people, rich or poor, love to gamble. Airlines offer nonstop service from Seoul to Las Vegas. Oriental decoration is a popular theme in casinos and restaurants. Many gambling emporia in Western countries keep speakers on the payroll who are fluent in Korean, Mandarin or Cantonese.
It may be ironic, then, that in China itself, there is only one place to go for gambling: Macau. The former Portuguese colony now handles more volume that Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined. Below are the five best casinos a lucky gambler can visit in the Monte Carlo of the Orient.
The Galaxy Rio Macau
If you like the noir feel of a old-time gambling joint, complete with dames and booze, the Galaxy Rio may be the place for you. The stakes aren’t as astronomically high here as in other Macau casinos, which can translate into a looser, more fun environment. Be careful here, however — some of the locals who frequent the Rio may be a little rougher around the edges than players in higher wagering dens of iniquity.
If it’s size a Macau visitor is looking for, then the Venetian is the spot for them. It’s 550,000 square foot casino is the largest in the world, bigger than anything in Vegas or Monte Carlo. It’s also a premier spot to catch celebrities coming through town to promote, to perform or just to play. And, naturally, the indoor canals with singing gondoliers are something you’re not going to see anywhere else in Asia.
If the Galaxy Rio is the place for low-stakes, high fun action; and the Venetian is the place for utter ginormity; then the Wynn is the spot for unmatched opulence. It looks exactly like the Wynn in Las Vegas, and that’s a good thing. All of the posh design elements are recreated in Macau. All the table games are well represented, including the awesome poker room staffed by lovely female dealers.
There are many more casinos to choose from in Macau, with experiences as Eastern or as Western as one may like. Be prepared, however: Asian gamblers take their wagering very seriously, and most of the visitors to Macau’s casinos are from other areas in China. Stake out a table early if you want to secure a seat, and be ready to bet right away.