2012-08-27   A visit to Macau

Did you know that all of Hong Kong's milk comes from Macau?
m a cow...). Recently I spent 2 nights in Macau for a meeting, my first time ever to stay overnight in Macau.
In fact, I've been to Macau only 5 or 6 times in
all my years in Hong Kong.

For Hong Kong people, a trip to Macau is very convenient: in Macau we can use our HK ID cards for immigration,
we can use Cantonese, we can use HK dollars and there are frequent ferries from both Central and Kowloon

Macau is expecting about 30 million visitors this year, most of them from the Mainland and HK.
The main reason for so many visitors? Gambling. Macau some time ago passed Las Vagas in the US as the world's number one gambling city. There are now more than 30 casinos, most of them owned by Stanley Ho's company and people with Las Vagas connections.

Gambling is the life-blood of Macau. It's the main source of revenue for the government. It even seems to influence people's thinking and speaking. During my visit I went to a church service at which the priest in his sermon said we need "to lay down our cards on the table" (= be completely open and honest) in our relationship with God!  I should add that the good priest had no idea he was using gambling language!

But gambling has a sad side: it causes huge damage to thousands of families each year. A HK lady who attended the same meeting as I did, said that on her ferry trip back to HK she met a HK man who had just lost HK$10,000 and was afraid his wife might find out. The man had a bleeding arm, from rough treatment forcing him to "pay up".  May HK never have a casino!