Original or copy? Which gambling metropolis can do more? Las Vegas or Macau? About swimming trunks in the casino and diamonds in a plastic bag.
If there were a copy World Cup, the People’s Republic of China would have been the undisputed champion for decades. Cars, technology, fashion, … Why not entire casino hotels? The latter was implemented in Macau. Since 1962, the Chinese special administrative region has been trying to keep up with what is probably the most sinful city in the world: Vegas, baby! But the success is limited. I visited the original and the copy. I experienced that. If you want to ignore this comparison and enjoy play scratch cards online, you can play at one of the online casinos that we recommend for you.
Las Vegas vs. Macau – Ultimate Sin City Comparison
Las Vegas, MGM Grand, 5:46 p.m., 37 degrees outside temperature – despite jet lag and a hangover, I try to get a seat at the crowded roulette table. At the last second, I snatch a Jacki-Coke from the tray of the waitress rushing by. Yes, it’s true: Vegas is all-you-can-drink as long as you’re holding playing cards, chips, or a slot machine. It’s not for nothing that the Strip gets longer and wider every year. If you drink more, you play bolder. You get rid of your money here – one way or the other.
After my third round without a hit, a kid in a bathing suit comes up to me and looks over my shoulder. This fellow must have just been thrown out of the hotel pool or lost his parents.
What we can’t imagine is common practice in Vegas. Since the casino area is mostly in the hotel lobby, all family vacationers walk across the gaming tables and slot machines on their way from the paddling pool to the burger counter. What an irony: while the rest of Europe preaches Christian values, here the role model effect for children is trampled underfoot – hundreds of drunk adults gambling and smoking. Yes, smoking is also permitted everywhere. In California, there are heavy fines for smoking on the street and in Vegas, they throw ashtrays at you – two hours drive away: “It’s the law!”
Macau – Money Is Not an Issue Here
Macau, Christmas Eve, felt like 17 degrees inside temperature – either the extremely high air conditioning or my empty stomach makes my hands tremble from the cold. Not a good impression compared to the pack of mainland Chinese who are looking deep into my eyes right now. I’m probably the only one at the table who preferred to “enjoy” the shaky speedboat transfer from Hong Kong to Macau hungry – and doesn’t speak Chinese. But that doesn’t matter, only one language is spoken anyway: Poker!
However, the cash game buy-ins are simply too high. I should have known, thinking back to my shopping spree on Nathan Road in Hong Kong yesterday. If so-called “Mainland” Chinese (are allowed) to travel to Hong Kong, then only for one purpose: buy, buy, buy! Money obviously doesn’t play a role for the mass of nouveau riche.
Diamonds in a Plastic Bag
I’ve never seen a person put high quality diamonds in a pink plastic bag at the jewellery counter – and pay for it. In Hong Kong yes – right next to me. The ominous customer’s outfit: a white Adidas training two-piece suit. Gambling behaviour in Macau is accordingly: Since gambling is very illegal in the rest of China, thousands of Chinese travel to Macau every day and let off steam.
Business Instead of a Party
The amounts at the tables are immeasurable, the Chinese highly concentrated. The boys are not here for fun. Professional gamblers certainly appreciate the latter – there is less cheering and groaning than in Vegas. It’s less about partying and more about “business”.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to observe the behaviour of Asian roulette players, as they hop from table to table to place chips by the kilo, can get a rough idea of what is going on here. It’s played like there’s no tomorrow…or speedboat back.
The Sex & Cocaine Lady
Las Vegas, New York Hotel, 1 am – To warm-up for the night of partying, I sit down at the bar and slide a $20 bill into the poker screen. The attentive bartender sees this and puts a Whiskey Cola in front of me – he knows me. Same procedure as last night. A voluptuous young lady on the barstool next to me asks me where I come from. I’ll ask back as a courtesy. She says “Vegas” and means she lives here. Who Lives in Vegas? I heard about it – she’s about to offer me two things: sex and cocaine. My assumption is confirmed, and I reject. Motivated bachelors should stick to the tourists – the local drinks are free, the women are not.
It starts. My party buddy and I are having fun – but where do we start? The offer in Las Vegas is huge, limitless and, above all, timeless. There’s partying here twenty-four hours a day: indoors and outdoors, onsite and offsite, at straight parties and gay parties, in nightclubs and dayclubs.
Yes, when some people choke down their last nightcap in the after-hours, others start their party day in high heels after breakfast egg. Each of the big casino hotels has at least two discotheques, although this word sounds almost derogatory here. We should rather speak of party temples where DJ greats like Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki are downright worshipped on their mixer shrine. The Chinese should do it again. Cloning Calvin may not be that easy.
Motivated Police Officers in Macau
Entertainment in Macau? Mow!
Macau, The Venetian, 2:20 am – the rules of the game are slightly different, which applies to both the gambling zone and the party zone. Here, the entrance to the sacred gambling halls is at least spatially separated with partitions. From time to time, these areas are checked by security with ID checks – at least it looks like age monitoring.
Finding the club and bar zones requires actively searching for them. The entertainment offer is limited. I’m trying my luck at the Venetian. A faithful imitation of the hotel of the same name on the Nevada Strip, which in turn is intended to be a plagiarism of our old European Venice in “miniature form”. So a copy of a copy.
No city in the world can compete with Vegas when it comes to concentrated entertainment. There really is something for everyone – no matter how unmotivated couch potato – because it’s impossible not to get carried away by this pull. For me, Vegas would be a reason to get married again just to celebrate my second bachelor party there. Macau, on the other hand, is Vegas in miniature, so doesn’t have nearly as much to offer, especially in terms of party life. A day or night trip by speedboat to Macau has its appeal, but only in combination with a trip to Hong Kong. The casinos are not for beginners and the speedboat is not for landlubbers.