Asia has a mixed attitude to gambling. It is illegal in mainland China and in Hong King, but it is permitted in the special administrative area of Macau. This tiny area of land was once owned by Portugal and when it was handed over to the PRC it was allowed to continue with its original gambling laws which have permitted casinos there for the last hundred and fifty years.
Around a decade ago many Las Vegas operators moved in and built a casino Mecca, a kind of Chinese Vegas but on a larger scale. Today the Macau casinos generate around six times as much gambling revenue as those of Las Vegas and while a reasonable proportion of it is generated by ordinary punters who visit from the rest of the PRC on weekends. The bulk is generated by the really high rollers who are mainly Communist Party Officials and Chinese businessmen.
Many of the top casinos are larger version of their Las Vegas doppelgangers. If you are ever there make sure that you visit the Venetian Macau, you will surely be dazzled by its spectacle and scale. It is the biggest casino in the world, and the most expensive, though you won’t rub shoulders with the aforementioned high rollers. They have a special casino all to themselves with its own entrance and hotel suites some of which have a dozen rooms.
The MGM is another one well worth visiting as is the City of Dreams and the Wynn Macau. In total there are around 33 casinos there, all with a fantastic selection of games. Such a selection is important for land-based casinos nowadays.
However Macau is not the only gambling paradise in Asia, Singapore is also tapping into the Chinese nouveau rich. The island of Sentosa is the location of one of Singapore’s new casinos and the other is the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts. These are two of the top casinos in the world and around 90% of their revenues are generated by the high rollers, Singapore is popular with Asia’s super wealthy.
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