I haven’t written much about Macau (Macao) yet and there will be a lot to come on it. This sparkling country is a former Portugeuese colony in China, almost like Hong Kong’s European cousin and there are similarities to be drawn between Macau and Hong Kong. Macao (spelt locally Macau) is a great city with a flambouyant mix of modern skyscrapers and towers plus old colonial buildings and forts. But, it’s main draw is…CASINOS!! And guess what? I won! Yes this is about the night I won money in a Casino in Macau.
First of all, if you know me you will know that I am NOT really a gambler. I flirt with the bookies, I enjoy the ambience of casinos and the buzz of the lottery at intervals to get my short term fix. I will never become addicted to them, but I do enjoy a football bet, even if I don’t win – it’s the thrill of watching the scores comes through and you might win! I’m the sort of person who goes to a Casino to have a quick play and then sits with a beer watching the football! But as a traveller, I’m up for anything and nobody would turn down a trip to one of the world’s major Casino cities.
So to Macau then…considering the fact that I have yet to visit Las Vegas, this seemed like my best bet (pun intended) to go to a Casino. Using Hong Kong as my base for my last 2 years of travels means that two other countries are a mere hour away (Macau and China). I hopped on the boat and there I was getting a new passport stamp and entering a new country (some people merely class and attach it to China – I don’t, I view it as its own country – it has its own flag, borders and banknotes!).
I visited the Venetian, one of Macau’s most famous and prestigious Casino Resorts. This building oozes modernity, its decor is sublime, it is world famous and it was close to the Irish Pub I had a few beers in watching the football just before that so it was a no brainer to visit it. We arrived at the Venetian in the early hours of the morning, and it was still busy. Of course it’s open 24 hours a day and is easily reached by free shuttle bus. The Casinos provide shuttle buses to various parts of Macao, mainly the ferry terminal which served as my own entrance and exit as I came across from Hong Kong.
After walking round the “fake Venice” in the Venetian, which is a custom built shopping mall with canals, bridges and gondolas, which reminded me of my time in Venice back in 2009. I was surprised but happy to learn that Macao’s Casinos are not only booming but Macao is by far ahead of Las Vegas as the world’s number one gambling destination by revenue! Check out this site on gambling in Macau which gives a good overview of the city and its casinos. Once inside and having seen the Venetian Malls and hallways, I arrived at the Casino…
I entered the flambouyant Casino section and was ready to put a wee bet on! I don’t bet with a lot of money, I also don’t bet at the tables (though I have done before in Bournemouth and London). Tonight, I decide to make a few bets on the machiens on live roulette, and I make a profit of $70 so I call it quits there and then!! Yes I won!! Plus I didn’t bet with a lot of cash and I was dressed in my usual attire of a (Glentoran) football shirt and shorts! I had the advantage of having my girlfriend to remind me to take the money when I won!
While in Macao I also did some sightseeing round the old Portuguese Colonial Old Town, St. Paul’s ruins, checked out the view from the fort, watched the sunset and visited the famous Casino/Hotel Lisboa – where the old and new buildings sit side by side. There will be more posts on that to come, the only other information for you at the moment on Don’t Stop Living is how to get from Hong Kong to Macau.
Of course photos and videos are not allowed inside the actual gambling area, so the ones I’ve included are not of the actual Casino, here’s a few of my videos too:
Venetian Macau on the night I won money in a Macau Casino!:
The Grand Canal in the Venetian:
Casino District at Night in Macau:
St. Paul’s Ruins in Macau: