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Macau Venetian, 12-25-16

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Joined: 19 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Jan Thu 05, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Macau Venetian, 12-25-16 Reply with quote

Another Christmas, another....trip to the Venetian in Macau? Well, it's an unlikely scenario, but it was the case this X-mas. I was in the area on a family trip, that of the extended family, that is, the in-laws back in the old what better sojourn to make than one to the fair isles (both of them) of Macau? Or "Macao", if you prefer; it seems that both spellings have been deemed formally acceptable by the powers that any case, I'm leaving out everything except the part that's of interest to us, namely, the casinos!

And we only saw the one, 'cuz that's all there was time for; that's the way it goes when traveling with old folks - not that I'm any spring chicken myself, but these were of near-elderly status, with one on a cane, so that cut down greatly on mobility.

But we did see it, so here's the scoop:

The Venetian of Macau is appropriately sprawling; it's almost difficult to comprehend how big they went with this design - put it this way: when we got in a taxi and asked to be taken to the Venetian, we were driven by some giant buildings that said, "The Venetian", and we were forced to say, "Hey, wait, isn't that it over there?", to which the driver had to respond that there's more than one entrance, and we were being taken to the one that was the primary off-loading point for tourists.

The approach is, like everything else in it, gigantic; there's a good ten lanes or so for the many taxis, buses, mini-vans, motorbikes, and every conceivable conveyance, and there's a steady throng of incoming and outgoing. We went inside, and were greeted by a massive atrium with a predictably over-the-top interior, central fountain, ornate detailing in every direction, and so on. Selfie and other picture-taking activity are at a frantic level at this point, and one is still not even near the casino floor.

One goes down another giant hallway to get to the action, and this is where some stark differences stood out between this facility and the one I reviewed on a previous trip: One still does have to pass through a sort-of security check, and take off one's sunglasses, but it seemed a good deal less stifling and oppressive - there was no metal detector walk-through, and only the largest bags going in received look-throughs by the personnel at the scene.

One is also told, in no uncertain terms, that no picture-taking of any kind is allowed inside - so that's that.

On the other side of this divider, the gaming floor stretched far and wide, and while it was indeed Christmas day, the crowd seemed to have enough room for itself, which was another welcome contrast. It was definitely busy, but not so much that one couldn't easily stand around, walk around, hang out, and/or even play - slots were being used, but others were available. At the tables, many were filled up, but others had space, and there were even a few that were totally open, though these appeared to fall into the higher-minimums category.

The games themselves included the predictable dice/dominoes/3-card poker/godknowswhat, but there was an ample supply of Blackjack, and especially Baccarat, which seems to have caught fire in this neck of the gaming woods - not what I would have guessed, but what ever is in such situations?

As for the Blackjack, table minimums once again dashed my dreams of playing a few hands, thanks again to the throngs of nouveau-riche flocking in from the mainland - the currency of the facility appears to be the Hong Kong Dollar, rather than the Macau version, for whatever reason - and the smallest I saw was $300HK, which comes out to about forty dollars U.S. - again, too rich for my blood, as a long-time low-roller, thank you very much.

But the most important point is how much more agreeable this facility is compared to the one I saw last time, which I think was the "Lisboa", a landmark of sorts, and famous in its own right, but, for reasons I cited earlier, was just not much fun to be in - the Venetian doesn't exactly have Windows, but with the super-high ceilings and vastly spacious layout, it's the kind of place where a gamer might actually like to spend some time.

One machine I watched for a while was an automated version of the venerable Chinese classic, "Sic Bo", which appears to be something like Craps, but with three dice. The machine had hugely-oversized dice, and would go through a theatrical routine of jiggling the support floor for a few suspenseful moments, and then forcing the dice to really roll with a big push, which is accompanied by an ear-shattering gong-crash sound. This machine was fully occupied, though by walking around the extremities, one could, in fact, find machines to play on, if one were so inclined.

Since we had limited mobility, this was all I had a chance to see, though as I mentioned, there's far, far more to this facility - the predictably super-high-end shops, probably twenty different restaurants, the actual hotel, etc., etc. - but it wasn't hard to spot some of the promenades, fountains, and other sites of more furious picture-taking outside. So I can't tell you whether they have the canal with the painted sky overhead and the Gondolas, but I fully expect that some version of such was to be found in there *somewhere*...

Sorry I can't tell ya more; maybe next time!
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BC Dave
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Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Jan Thu 05, 2017 10:41 pm    Post subject: That's one BIG casino ... Reply with quote

Considering I used to get lost in the Cal Neva it's not surprising you couldn't find the canal at the Macau Venetian. I brought it up on Google Maps and using the measuring tool traced around the behemoth to find that it sits on approximately 5.2 million square feet of real-estate! Some of that looks to be a small golf course and of course there's the pool area. Glad to hear that they've "funned" up the place a bit. They must have seen my comment on your last Macau report and grew concerned that a gigantic Cal- Neva might be built.

BC Dave's brief guide for Low Rollers in Macau; Bet the table minimum ~ $40. Win and let it ride for 10 more (winning) hands. Pocket your $80,000 and walk away.
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