The argument of which city should be named the world’s gambling capital is one that has been raging on for over a decade. Las Vegas seemed to be the undisputed holder of the honor for a long time but Macau’s rise in the last 15 years means the debate is now hotly contested globally. The Chinese government’s decision to end the monopoly of Stanley Ho on Macau’s gambling has seen the region’s economy blossom and its gaming industry become the most lucrative in the world.
Most gamblers might still favor the bright lights of Vegas as it has been the go-to city for fun and entertainment for decades, but more and more gamblers are making their way to the Island of Macau which has transformed from a small fishing port to one of the world’s major tourist hotspots. Both cities are home to some of the biggest and best casinos, but which is the true home of gambling?
Las Vegas is the traditional option, as the city has been the face of partying for decades. Statistically, Sin City remains ahead of Macau in most departments largely due to its head start over the Chinese island. It certainly beats Macau in term of variety. Vegas has over a hundred casinos open to tourists compared to just 49 in Macau, meaning gamblers and tourists are open to a lot more options in the US city. Vegas also has a lot more poker houses, slot machines, and theatres which is no surprise considering its over 11 times the size of Macau.
True to its party nature, the foods and drinks available at Vegas casinos are also different as they offer alcohol (which is barely seen in Macau casinos) and fast foods whereby Macau is known for its high class restaurants and chefs. Macau is a place for serious gamblers intent on filling their pockets as Vegas’ party nature often spills onto gaming tables which simply doesn’t happen in Macau.
One factor which seems to be swinging the debate in Macau’s favor is foreign tourists. Before Macau’s rise, just about every American looking for a fun weekend was swayed toward Vegas, but since Ho’s monopoly ended, more and more Americans travel to Macau to gamble especially since Vegas casinos like “The Venetian” branched out into the Chinese territory. Asian gamblers haven’t necessarily turned to Vegas as most of them have stayed with Macau, meaning it might not be long before Macau surpasses Vegas in terms of annual visitors.
Despite the wide-spread arguments, the decision of which city is best is largely down to location and choice. Both Vegas and Macau will offer visitors an equally unforgettable experience and gamblers in the east might consider Macau to be the preferred option due to proximity. American gamblers will likely favor Vegas for similar reasons as well.
The more seasoned and experienced gamblers will favor Macau, where drinking is prohibited and games are civilized and serious and your winnings are all compared to the 20-30% tax you pay for high winnings in Vegas. Macau is the place for a sophisticated getaway with a relaxing and comfortable experience, in and out of the casino.
Vegas, on the other hand, is a second home for party lovers, as the city never sleeps. It’s bright, loud and is the world’s number one city for entertainment with shows and parties at every corner of the city. The choice is yours.