Las Vegas Sands Corp

Thousands try their luck in Macau 'Disneyland for adults'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 12:02pm

Thousands of punters, tourists and the plainly curious flooded into the Venetian Macao last night to experience the world's largest casino, dubbed a 'Disneyland for adults' by its billionaire owner.

About 3,000 people queued up outside the resort for its 7.18pm opening, with some of them having endured, or enjoyed, a six-hour wait in the sun.

Most of the visitors were from the mainland, with many planning to try their luck at the gaming tables and slot machines even though the Venetian has done little promotion on its casino.

Its website highlights its hotel accommodation and entertainment, but makes no mention of a casino or gambling facilities.

One of the more direct sources of information for mainland visitors came from a China News Service report on Sunday, in which Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands, which operates the Venetian, described his latest venture as a Disneyland for adults. Seasoned punter Iao Tak-kun, 33, arrived at noon yesterday to secure the first place in the queue.

'I heard that early comers can get free chips worth HK$500,' said Mr Iao, a Macau restaurant worker who had arranged a day off work for the occasion. He said he had lost more than HK$100,000 at Sands Macao on different occasions and hoped to win some of the money back.

'Being No1 [in the queue] should be lucky, right?' he asked. Mr Iao said he was disappointed about getting no reward for lining up for Crown Macau's opening in May.

Zhang Xing from Zhongshansaid: 'I am here to [see] the famous Venetian and see how luxurious it can be. He was second in the queue and had brought 6,000 yuan.

'Winning or not doesn't really matter to me. I am here to have fun,' said Ms Zhang, 59.

More than 100 police officers were mobilised to keep order and manage traffic nearby, but once the doors opened, the crowd made its way into the plush, six-star interior.

Housemaid Marilou Pampolina, who also stood at the top of the queue, said she planned to spend no more than HK$50 in the casino. 'I came as early as 7 in the morning but later went back to eat,' she said. 'I am not going to spend too much money here.'