(Photos by Sands)
I began reviewing Las Vegas’ entertainment and dining in 1980, and fondly remember the Sands, Desert Inn, and Dunes Hotels during the Rat Pack era. Throughout the years these hotels have been imploded to make way for mega- resorts. Sands Hotel Chairman of the Board/ Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon G. Adelson built the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. He realized the potential of Macao, China’s gaming. Not only did Adelson open the ultra-luxurious new Sands Macao Resort- the first world class American owned casino resort in China- he led a movement for several major hotel chains to create a Las Vegas strip in the Macau’s Cotai district- Venetian Resort, Wynn Resort, Hilton Hotel, Intercontinental Resort, Four Seasons, and others.
Standing on the mezzanine’s balcony overlooking the casino, I realized its enormous size (over 165,000 square feet of casino space with 65′ high ceilings ). Walt Power, Vice President of Sands Macao Operations, explains, “We have one of the largest casinos in the world. The Sands Macao operates over 400 table games and is scheduled to expand to 600 by next year. The casino is the largest consumer of playing cards in the world- 8,000 decks daily. Our casino games include Baccarat, Fan Tan, Caribbean Stud Poker, Yee Hah Hi (chicken, crab and fish), Three Card Poker, Three Card Baccarat, Blackjack, big and small (Sic Bo), and roulette. The 753 slot machines have Chinese characters and English words, with more 8’s instead of 7’s because the number 8 represents luck and good fortune in their culture. Around 20,000 people play here every day during the week, and 30,000 per day on weekends. When a Chinese guest walks through the door, it is not just for entertainment. He comes to face his destiny. The adrenalin is pumping, the guest is at war with the casino. Asian gamblers are the biggest gamblers in the world, and they bet our current maximum $1 million per hand (Around $770,000 American).” VIP guests have access to private jets, limousine, helicopter, 24 hr concierge, private entrances, exclusive entertainment lounges, high-limit gaming rooms, wine testing areas, private dining, and more! The Paiza Club is named after the gold tablet Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan gave to Marco Polo in the 13th Century. This was a guarantee for unrestricted travel across Kublai Khan’s vast empire, a signal to the war lords to give fresh water, shelter, food, horses, and other supplies during Marco Polo’s journey. Just as these gifts were bestowed upon Marco Polo, the Sands Macao Resort wants their guests to experience the luxuries of the Paiza Club as a passport to wealth. Membership is by invitation only.
The Sands Macao Resort is so beautiful, so luxurious, and so exciting, we must take a stroll around the grounds to be sure to see everything. Their golden exterior glistens in the sunlight and one chandelier is 120′ long, 25′ wide, 50′ high, and weighs 100,000 pounds. They have two 60′ high water walls, a 260′ wide, 50′ high window wall, and more! The resort features a variety of cuisine with a buffet, Portuguese, Chinese, Cantonese, Shanghai, Macanese restaurants. and Las Vegas-style steakhouse, Enjoy the ‘Cappuccino Show’s’ Latin and ballroom dancers performing afternoons and evenings in the Xanadu Entertainment Bar. These international champions are from Belarus, Paris, Russia, and Poland.
The Sands Macao Resort opened May 18, 2004, and are celebrating unbelievable success, they paid themselves back for all of the construction and their entire investment within one year! Congratulations to Sheldon Adelson for his farsightedness in seizing his opportunity in China! For information about the Sands Macao Hotel and Casino, call (853)-883-388, Sands Macao Resort and Casino, Largo de Monte Carlo, No. 203, Macao, China. www.sands.com.mo
Macao has been returned to Chinese sovereignty “one country, two systems,” in 1999, after 450 years of Portuguese rule. Whatever questions you have about visiting Macau, contact the Macau Government Tourist Office. They can suggest different itineraries for families, singles, groups, conferences, and fun seekers. For free brochures and information, call (646)-366-8162, Macau Government Tourist Office, 501 Fifth Avenue, Suite #1101, New York, New York 10017. www.macautourism.gov.mo
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