macau ‘aint no vegas

If Vegas is sin city, Macau is sinless city.  If Vegas is an R rated movie, Macau is PG.  If Vegas what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, you can tell everyone what happened in Macau.  If the Mormons decided to open up a gambling resort, well… you get the idea.  Are the casinos in Macau beautiful?  Yes.  They are some of the most grandiose buildings I’ve ever seen.  Does Macau have magnificent shopping?  Yes.  There are Louis Vuitton stores next to Dolce & Gabbana next to Prada.  Does Macau have gambling?  Yes.  Obviously.  So what’s the problem?  The feel.  It’s too nice and clean!  Vegas has a certain grime to it, the clash of everything from Christian Dior boutique with illegal immigrants selling call girls outside.  I love walking the strip in Vegas.  Going from one casino to the next, eating and drinking all the way, never being more than 50 ft. from a place to gamble.  Macau is very sprawled out.  You can walk from one hotel to the next, but between them is… nothing.  Just everyday city streets with a few open shops.  And the absolute strangest part of Macau is the noise level on the gambling floors.  It’s too silent.  When I walk into a Vegas casino, my senses are overloaded.  The sounds of coins hitting the slot machine tray, the low roar of people winning and losing their life savings, the flashing lights, the random group of obnoxious strangers getting back from a club at 8am.  These are the sounds of Vegas.  Not Macau, it’s silent on the gambling floor.  The other mind blowing aspect of Macau is that you can’t drink alcohol on the gambling floor.  There are bars at the casinos, of course, but you can’t bring your drink with you to play blackjack.  The casinos in Macau have carts that bring around all you can drink water, milk, tea, orange juice and tomato juice, but no alcohol, and I think that’s the fundamental problem.  Alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions, causing them to take greater risks, winning and losing bigger and bigger amounts, creating a rising level of excitement.  Without the drinks and noise, it’s just not the same.


Galaxy Hotel

Next stop, Monte Carlo.