Vegas vs. Macau - East Asia Becoming PopularDavid Burgundy | 15 Aug 2016
While some players are content to stay home and enjoy all that online casinos have to offer, there are others who wish to combine their gaming with travelling to exotic and exciting locations across the globe.
Traditionally, Las Vegas has always been the worlds gambling capital, and there’s little that beats the atmosphere of the famous Strip. However, the Chinese territory of Macau is giving Vegas some stiff competition, as this East Asian region has fast been making a name for itself in the international gambling community.
Bigger and Better Than Vegas
Macau has earned itself the nickname of ‘The Monte Carlo of the Orient’ and has a thriving gambling industry more than 5 times bigger than Vegas. Until recently, Macau’s casino revenues turned over a massive $44 billion annually, dwarfing that of its Nevada-based counterpart. It’s not just the casinos that have been flourishing; Macau has also thrived on the tourism circuit, with an ever-increasing number of tourists visiting this densely popular Peninsula.
Unfortunately, much of Macau’s gambling growth has been due to an incredibly lenient tax environment that has spurred a number of negative effects, including mafia activity, money laundering and corruption. In an effort to counteract these effects, the Chinese government have cracked down on illegal and unlawful activities and are working hard to shift the focus of Macau from being a solely gambling orientated destination, to one that offers plenty of tourist attractions.
Although this crackdown has seen a significant reduction in high rollers visiting Macau from the mainland, it does not look set to decrease the number of tourists who choose this Province as their destination. In addition to the incredible array of casinos there are also countless cultural, historical, entertainment and other intriguing attractions on offer, making Macau all the more alluring.
Amazing Attractions of All Kinds
The ruins of St. Pauls are one of Macau’s most famous tourist landmarks and a must see for any visitor. The façade of the cathedral that was built in the 17th century by the Jesuit Portuguese missionaries still stands, and although the rest of the complex was destroyed by a fire in 1835, the frontage creates the perfect contrast between the modern city and its historical colonial roots.
Senado Square is another famous Macau landmark that deserves a visit. This plaza is the centre of cosmopolitan Macau, and a meeting place of old and new traditions. The unusual almost psychedelic mosaic of black and white stones arranged in a river like formation makes Senado Square all the more interesting, and visitors will find festivals, street performances and fairs taking place here all year round. The Mid-Autumn Festival, Music Festival and Lotus Festival always pull in huge crowds and are a wonderfully cultural experience.
Macau’s casinos will amaze even those who are not avid gamblers and it’s easy to see why this destination is giving Vegas a run for its money, when you look at venues such as the Venetian. The Venetian is a beautifully decorated hotel complex, with a casino and shopping centre combined, and its architecture, canals and gondolas are inspired by Venice itself. Visitors can take in the sights on a gondola tour and marvel at the artistic, intricate architecture and decorations that line the ceilings, walls and avenues of the Venetian.
An East Asian Gem
For those who love history and culture, Macau has a rich and interesting story to tell. The Macau Museum is home to a number of exhibits that detail the changing histories of the Peninsula, starting from the pre-historical, through to the Chinese, and then on to the Portuguese epochs of the city. At the museum, the Guia Fortress tells the story of Macau’s colonial history and visitors can wander round the church and lighthouse, before taking in the city sights from the original cannon-flanked Portuguese ramparts.
Macau offers so much more than just spectacular casinos and an amazing experience for gamblers, and it’s easy to see why so many visitors are picking this destination as their preferred option. A true jewel in East Asia, Macau really deserves to be seen and explored in person.