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China - Land of the Macao Dragon?

Author: Skyla Burrell

China is known as the Celestial Empire and the Land of Red Dragon. It is home to the Forbidden City, the infamous Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall, one of the only structures that can be seen from Space. China is also the world’s largest gambling destination. Though rich in history and culture, China still remains a mystery to most so, before we get into the meat of this dish let’s digest a few appetizing historical facts.

221 B.C. is where it all began with the first empire, the Qin dynasty. Dynastic families continued to rule China until 1912 when the people overthrew the government. The 1949 civil war resulted in the rise of the communist party and the creation of the People’s Republic of China. At last count, in 2016, China had a population of 1.379 billion people.

Macau was originally part of China but was leased to the Portuguese Empire in 1557 as a trading post and remained under Portuguese control until 1999 when it was returned to China. Gambling was legalized in 1850. For those that take the view that gambling is bad for you, you may be interested to know that the life expectancy in Macau is the 4th highest on the planet.

How does a tiny island within a communist country (where gambling is illegal) become known as the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’ and the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ you ask? In 2001 the 4-decade gaming stronghold by the Stanley Ho family was dissolved by the government making way for independent operators. Things blew up in 2007 when Macau allowed foreign casinos to open and now, hands-down, grosses the highest amount of gambling revenue in the world.

Macau is home to 41 casinos. The legal gambling age is 18 for visitors and 21 for residents. The ‘Cotai Strip’ is their version of the ‘Vegas Strip’ and like its counterpart plays host to some mega-casinos. Also, just as Vegas worked hard on including activities to keep kids busy while parents roll the dice, the new casinos being built are adopting a family-friendly stance which can be seen in its most popular show ‘House of Dancing Water’ at the City of Dreams Casino.

Though the currency in Macau is Pataca, the only currency accepted in casinos are Hong Kong dollars. All casinos are open 24 hours a day. Baccarat is by far the most popular game played at Macau casinos, with huge sections of the casino gaming floors dedicated to the game. The 2nd favorite among Macau gamblers are the slots.

The gaming industry is expected to expand even more once the new light rail system connecting the ferry landing to the Cotai Strip opens in 2019. The first stop on the light rail system will be the 4.1 billion dollar Wynn Macau, which opened its gilded doors in 2016 and holds a five-star status. Other recent mega casino openings include the Parisian Macau, the Venetian which is double the size of its Las Vegas sister property, and the MGM Macau which opened in January of 2018.

If you don’t have 20+ hours to spend flying to Macau, Gambling City makes it easy to play your favorite games online. Channel your inner Macau gambler and take a stab at Baccarat or Slots. Unlike Macau, Gambling City will pay you cash back up to 20% on any losses you may incur at participating trusted partner casinos. If Macau is on your mind, we’ve got you covered, minus the water show, of course.