Macau: Like Las Vegas but…Better!

 view of the lisboa casino from the fort in Macau

The West has Las Vegas. The East has Macau. Vegas’s hotels are found on the “Strip.” Macau’s hotels are found on the “islands.” Las Vegas takes in $6.2 billion annually. Macau takes in nearly four times that amount ($25 billion). If Las Vegas is the “kid sister” of the World when it comes to gambling, then Macau is surely the big brother of the East, and it is all grown up now.

Similar to Hong Kong, Macau is what is known as an “administrative” area in China. It’s not really outside of the country, but it’s not really inside either, which makes it the perfect spot to serve as an international gambling haven.

It works geographically as well. Macau is a peninsula, which means it is near-surrounded by water (and in recent past it was actually still an island.) So, there is no shortage of beachfront property on which to erect some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and hotels.

In short, Macau is like Las Vegas…but better.


The Macau Peninsula is home to a number of noteworthy hotels, mostly built by the same management responsible for the stunning casino-resorts that line the Strip in Vegas—but with a grandiosity that makes the Nevada gaming counterpart look like a total dump.

For example, the Venetian Macau, a cavernous triumph of architecture, is not only an oversized replica of the version found on the Strip in Vegas, it actually holds the record for the biggest casino gaming floor in the world.

Other hotels in Macau that are also in Vegas include the Wynn and The Hyatt.

The Wynn owner, Steve Wynn, loves Macau so much he has vowed to build a replica of the Las Vegas Strip itself on a pier that connects two of the main islands in Macau. Talk about a direct comparison.


One of the truly great aspects about Las Vegas is how cheap it is (in theory). Even if you go absolutely insane the first night and blow all your money at the Tao, you can drink for free and walk the Strip the next night fairly easily.

In Macau, things are a little bit different. There are no deals, there are no sales, and if you’re the type of person who is looking for the minimum bet gaming section, you may be disappointed to find that the minimum bet per hand for table games comes averages out to be around $35-60 USD depending on where you stay.

(Not surprisingly, Macau makes more money from its table games than it does slots, which is the opposite in Vegas.)

With prices like that, you had better hope that your win streak begins quickly or you might find yourself taking out a second mortgage just to make it through that dinner on your second night in Macau!


Similar to gambling, going out in Macau for entertainment is more of an investment than a savings. That said, however, Macau is home to some of the most impressive entertainment shows on earth.

If you have the chance, check out the “Tree of Prosperity” exhibit at the Wynn, whereupon a tree “grows” out of the floor amidst a light show to meet one of the most majestic chandeliers you’ll ever witness majestically hanging above.

If you are more the Cirque de Soleil type, head on over to the Venetian to sit beneath the big top to take in the already infamous “Zaia” show, a spectacular mix of high-wire acrobatics and choreographed dances.

This was a guest post by Simon who is a writer and content specialist…and he’s addicted to being on the front page of anything.  A graduate of Dalhousie University, he specializes in using the em dash too often. Currently, Simon rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.