This post was last updated on November 3rd, 2014
Let’s face it: when enjoyed responsibly, a visit to a casino can be a whole lot of fun. But where should you go next time you want to hit the tables? Though Las Vegas boasts a long history of world-renowned gaming tables, Macau has slowly and surely overtaken its classic American counterpart in terms of revenue and size. But does that make it better for travelers? After having the opportunity to visit both, we break down the pros and cons of each.
Unless you’re on a lucky streak, it’s a good idea to take a break from the tables and slot machines at some point and catch some fresh air and sunshine. Luckily there is no shortage of things to see and do outside the casinos in both Las Vegas and Macau.
For unique experiences that you can only see in Vegas, we recommend making your way to the legendary Hoover Dam. Also consider a visit to the Old Strip where you can zip line over the pedestrian walkway. For something even more spectacular, head to a Cirque du Solei show at the Bellagio. Though we haven’t experienced them first hand, we have also heard great things about the nightly helicopter rides over the city, Baja buggy rides in the desert and day trips to the Grand Canyon.
In Macau you’ll find an extensive historic center that blends Portuguese and Chinese cultures in everything from street signs to food to architecture. A walk through this section of town reveals pastel-colored houses, cobblestone walkways, Chinese temples and Moorish barracks—just to name a few. If historical landmarks don’t get your heart rate up, then you can always head over to the Macau Tower for a 233 meter Bungy Jump or a Skywalk along the tower’s outer rim. There are a couple of walking trails on the island but they won’t take you very far, the longest being just a little over 8km.
Macau’s gambling industry is now 7 times bigger than Vegas. The Venetian Macau has the largest casino floor in the world; the hotels are bigger and flashier; and the overall scene caters to the wealthy from Hong Kong and Mainland China. As a result, the city of Macau is just more expensive. The nice thing about Vegas is that you have a wide range of casinos to choose from, ranging from inexpensive to super glitzy and glam. In both cities you’ll find the usual slots, poker, blackjack, craps and, our personal favorite, roulette. If you’re not a fan of any of those you can try your hand at greyhound racing at the Canidrome.
Not to sound like a lush, but I feel like this is a fact to consider: In Vegas, you are able to receive alcoholic drinks on the house as long as you are playing games. This was fantastic for us when we visited Vegas on our honeymoon and were very excited to get a nice glass of wine while also spending some rounds at the roulette table for a while. In Macau this is not the case. You can grab yourself some nice herbal tea, but don’t expect complimentary drinks because you are sitting down to a game of roulette. That said, you might find you spend less money since the free alchol won’t be urging you on too much!
Overall you can’t go wrong with Vegas or Macau. They both offer the same basic necessities while also remaining unique enough to warrant a trip to both. However, if you’re not able to jump on a plane and jet off to either destination, then you always consider playing your favorite casino games online. Just remember to always do so responsibly.
Do you enjoy casinos? Have you ever visited Vegas or Macau?