Macau the Chinese Las Vegas

The last time I was in Macau, I stayed at my brother in-law’s place. Outside his balcony I watched the construction of what was to become billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian casino. It looked really cool and was massive in size compared to its neighbor, Sands.
The Venetian boasts what it claims to be the world’s largest gaming space of 550,000 square feet (50,000 square meters), housing 3,400 slot machines – with room to expand to 6,000 – and more than 800 gambling tables.
It has 3,000 rooms, a 15,000-seat sports arena, retail space for 350 stores, 1.2 million square feet (108,000 square meters) of convention space, fine dining and a Cirque du Soleil-produced show.
Its decor aims to replicate the beauty of Venice – with a Chinese touch. Chinese-style sampans as well as gondolas will sail down canals. The resort also features a replica of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. via Yahoo
What blew me away was how busy all the casinos in Macau are. You could go in one at 2AM on a Wednesday morning and all the tables would be packed. Did I play when I was there? Sure, I played the slots and promptly lost after being solicited by a lady of the evening. Bad luck. 🙂
Update I’ve been back to Macau several times since 2007 and everytime I’ve been there I’ve seen more construction of casinos on the Macu mainland and on the Taipa island. The amount of money flowing through this little SAR (Special Administration Region) is sick!
These casinos pay taxes to the government which provides for free public transportation, no property taxes, and a yearly stipend for all citizens. While it’s not Universal Basic Income, it reminds me of the profit sharing system from the (Native American) Indian Casinos in the United States.
That sounds all great but Gambling destroys some people. I walked by outside the casino where I’ve seen young and old people crying. I can only assume they gambled away some needed money.