welcome to gambling in macau

The Chinese so love gambling that it's often said that if two flies are walking on the wall, the Chinese will bet on which one will walk faster. To gamble in Asia is like playing football in England. It's not surprising, therefore, that mainland and Hong Kong Chinese together with Taiwanese make up more than 90% of the 18 million annual visitors to Macau. Gambling in Taiwan is quite big. Since the only legal gambling in Hong Kong is comprised of the horse races and mah-jongg, you can bet that most of the Chinese come to Macau to gamble, whether it's at the casinos or the tracks.

In 2002, a 40-year monopoly on gambling ended, paving the way to grander casinos and an upsurge in Las Vegas-style entertainment. All are open 24 hours. Some are fancy, others aren't, but none allow photographs to be taken, and shorts may not be worn. Admission is free, but some require you show a passport to enter.

Several hotels have casinos, including the Mandarin Oriental, Holiday Inn, and Hotel Lisbon, all of which offer blackjack, baccarat, roulette, Chinese games, and slot machines (known, appropriately enough, as "hungry tigers" in Chinese). After deregulation, several themed, Las Vegas-style casinos opened on Macau peninsula, including Sands Macau, a million-square-foot entertainment complex near the ferry terminal and Fisherman's Wharf . There are lots of differences between Gambling in Macau and in Las Vegas.

The first foreign venture in Macau's gaming industry, Sands Macau boasts a 51-suite hotel, restaurants, spa, and Macau's largest casino floor, with more than 400 gaming tables and 921 slot machines -- specifically designed for the Asian market. Betting revenue in these casinos is massive. Wynn Macau, across from the Lisbon near the center of town on Avenida Da Amizade, has opened a 600-room hotel and casino as its first phase of development, with shops, restaurants, and other diversions slated to open in late 2007. MGM Grand Macau, also with a hotel and casino, will make its debut in late 2007. But the biggest developments are taking shape on COTAI (the strip of reclaimed land between Taipa and ColĂ´ane), where the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel will open in mid-2007 with a 50,725-sq.-m (546,000-sq.-ft.) casino. It will serve as the anchor of seven resort hotels, meeting and convention space, shopping complexes, and more.

Know about Macau gambling growth in our site Otherwise, for a glimpse of gambling Chinese-style, it's fun to take a stroll through the ornately decorated Macau Palace Floating Casino, moored in the Outer Harbor not far from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.