Inside Asian Gaming

INSIDE ASIAN GAMING | April 2008 34 C alling Macau the “Vegas of the East” is an affront to its rich cultural heritage. The blending of Portuguese and Chinese culture over 450 years of colonial rule in Macau has earned its“Historic Centre” a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Las Vegas Strip, by contrast, was literally desert prior to the arrival of the first casino resorts there in the 1940s. Sheldon Adelson can justifiably claim Cotai—sprouting on a swampy marsh reclaimed from the surrounding sea—is “Asia’s Las Vegas.” The Macau peninsula, however, with its abundance of genuine European-flavoured historic treasures, is something else. The latest casino property to open on the Far From the Faux Crowd Away from the artificial canals of Cotai sits Macau’s latest casino resort, Ponte 16, which aims to revitalise the city’s culturally rich but economically disadvantaged Inner Harbour area