Macau is considered as the Las Vegas of the East, because of its glittering gambling industry boomed by the dazzling casinos, spread on its two islands. But, is it really the Las Vegas of East? Most people think that Las Vegas is the casino capital of the world. But, once the gambling industry started in this former Portuguese colony a decade ago, the center of attractions shifted to the other corner of the world in Macau. The casinos of Macau are grandest, biggest and most expensive. And their business values are much more greater than the casinos of Vegas. Now, we can say that Las Vegas is America’s Macau.
Macau mainly has 33 casinos on its two islands. 23 casinos are located on the Macau Peninsula and 10 casinos on Taipa Island. Many of them are like the twins of their counterpart in Las Vegas and operated by the casino leaders of Las Vegas only. They all operate under a government franchise and under a common set of rules. These casinos are the amazing places to experience the nightlife of Macau. You can visit them without any restriction, even if you are not interested in gambling.
Opening Hours: Every casino run 24×7, throughout the year. Entrance is Free. Various sections of a casino may have different opening and closing hours.
Here is the list of some popular casinos in Macau:
1. The Venetian: The Venetian is the most famous and the biggest casino of Macau. In fact, with the area of 5,50,000 square feet, Venetian is the largest casino in the world. This casino cum luxury hotel is owned by The Las Vegas Sands Corp of Las Vegas, that also owns property like Sands Casino in Macau, The Venetian in Las Vegas and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The Venetian is located at Cotai Strip and can be easily reached by various luxury buses of casino operated from the international airport and from the outer harbour ferry terminal. This casino is build on the theme of its old counterpart in Las Vegas and has the largest casino floor in the world. Inside the casino building, you can walk along the canals of Venice, enjoy the Gondola rides, watch the exclusive and spectacular Zaia shows held inside the 1,800 seat Zaia theater, and then shop on the various premium retails chain as long as you wish. The false sky blue ceiling of the casino with oil paintings of clouds on that resembles to a beautiful sky. and if you want to enjoy the grandeur of Macau at its best, then better to book some nights at The Venetian.
This is also the venue for the 10th and 13th IIFA awards in Macau that are presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood. This award functions are held at locations around the world signifying the international success of Bollywood every year.
2. The Galaxy: Located near The Venetian, just across the road, it is also one of my favourite in Macau. Owned by Galaxy Entertainment Group, this casino cum luxury hotel has many attractions inside its premises. The there are 6 cupolas at the top of the two towers of this casino. These cupolas are covered by 24-carat gold. From outside, this looks like a grand palace. This casino is connected to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and to the airport by frequent luxury bus services carrying its guests free of cost.
Inside casino, there are many attractions apart from the gambling. Most awesome attractions are a crystal gallery , a fortune diamond show and a laser show. The crystal gallery houses a series of crystals floating over the water. These crystals are having some advanced motion censors, so whenever a visitor come closer to them, that triggers a special visual effect. When all the crystals are activated, good luck symbols flash from the crystals and reflect in the water.
The Fortune Diamond Show is being held at every 30 minutes. In the lobby of the casino, at every 30 minute, a fountain turns into a giant roulette wheel and a giant diamond rises out of the top.
In the Galaxy Laser Show, The gold-leaf cupolas over the casino feature a laser show system which projects laser beams into the sky every 15 minutes. It is claimed to be the largest laser shows in the world and is visible across Macau.
3. The Sands: It is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and located close to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal on the main island. It is about ten minutes walk from the ferry terminal and located opposite to the theme park, Fishermen’s Wharf. The Sands is the oldest among the prominent casinos of Macau. It doesn’t has the too many attractive features like others, but its most exciting feature is a giant chandelier that is over 36 meters long and nearly 8 meters wide. Hanging in the center of The Sands, the chandelier has nearly six thousand light bulbs and weighs more than 100,000 pounds.
4. Casino Lisboa: It is one of the most colorful casino of Macau, owned by a local business magnate Stanley Ho. It does not houses modern attractive features like its competitors, but it has the best and the biggest poker room in Asia. It is located on the main island of Macau and generally remain low on glitz and glammer in comparison to its western competitors.
The best way to reach here by using a Lisboa Casino bus from the ferry terminal. There are some buses also available from the airport, but they are not at frequent intervals. So, if you want to go here from the airport without spending a penny, then catch a Galaxy or Venetian casino bus from the Airport to that casino. From the casino, catch another bus to the ferry terminal and from ferry terminal, a Lisboa casino bus to the Casino Lisboa. You have to change three buses, but this will not take much time as they run at frequent intervals. and if you can get a Wynn or Lisboa casino bus from the airport, then that will be the best, as both the casinos are located in the close vicinity.
5. The MGM: MGM is also present in Macau near adjacent to The Wynn Casino. This casino features a number of restaurant outlets, bars, and lounges in its premises.
6. The Wynn: The Wynn is a integrated luxury resort in Macau offering gaming combined with a deluxe hotel, restaurants, designer shops, spa, and a “Performance Lake”. Located on the main island of Macau in front of the Casino Lisboa, it is a very popular casino of Macau. Like its other Western Competitors present in Macau, it also features two attractive shows:
The first, known as the Dragon of Fortune, happens every hour and features a dragon that rises from the rotund up to 28 feet in the air. It has an animated head and smoke come out of its nostrils. It is covered in 2,450 square feet of gold leaf.
The second show, the Tree of Prosperity, happens every half hour and sees a giant golden tree literally rise from the ground.
7. The City of Dreams: The City of Dreams, popularly known as CoD in the gambling circuit of Macau, it is another property of Las Vegas Sands Corp. in the Cotai strip. It is located just opposite to The Venetian. It contains many attractive features like The Bubble Fountain, The Bubble Show, Dancing water theater etc.
What to expect from the casinos of Macau: The best thing about the casinos of Macau are that they are kind enough to welcome every visitors in their premises. It does not matter if you stay there or gamble there, entry is free for all at every places except the hotel lobbies. You can deposit your luggage free of cost there for 24 hours, you can ride their free buses across Macau and you can watch spectacular shows without any cost. So, if you are in Macau from morning to evening then except to pay only for your food and water for the whole day, rest of the things you can enjoy free there after a proper planning.
But once you decide to stay in Macau for night, expect to pay much more at the hotels of Macau. Getting a cheap accommodation is not possible in Macau. But then Macau doesn’t sleep in the night also. In fact, in night, it becomes more vibrant, more colorful and more alive. You can move from casinos to casinos to enjoy the nightlife of Macau.
Note: Do not expect to cover all the casinos in a single day trip. You can cover only two or maximum three casinos in a single day with all its spectacular shows and attractions.
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