Tag Archives: casino

THE FINE ART OF GAMBLING – our win at Monte Carlo

Anish Kapoor, Sky Mirror 1999

Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror 1999. I presume the punters paid for it.

The prosperity on show in Monte Carlo is compelling evidence that the house always wins in the end.

It was our first trip to Monaco, an easy way to add another country to the notches on our travelling sticks. Much of the surface area of the principality was covered with temporary seating, in preparation for some kind of automobile race.

We skirted round the scaffolding and sidled into the Monte Carlo Casino, wondering, ‘Are we even allowed in there if we’re not going to lose money?’

Mevrouw T and I have a major advantage over the average punter because we don’t know how to gamble. Blackjack and roulette are mysteries to us and we can’t even work poker machines. We see where the money goes in, but what do you do after that? Continue reading

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MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE – pulling punters with the WOW factor

In a city full of fine dining, shopping and hotels, the new Marina Bay Sands complex may just be Singapore/Asia/the world’s best. That’s certainly their aim.

I ought to hate this place. I’m not a great swimmer and I’m afraid of heights. Why would I be impressed by an infinity pool 200 metres above a very hard road? Five star hotels generally remind me of my status as a 2-3 star person. Shopping and gambling are among my least favourite activities because I’ve already got everything (ask anyone who tries to buy me a birthday present) and, as I understand it, punters in casinos are meant to lose.

Yet in spite of myself, I have to admire Marina Bay Sands (‘MBS’ to its friends). Singapore’s newest hotel/casino/shopping mall/science museum/convention centre/gallery/eat street/skating rink/theatre complex and practically everything else is just so much of so much. Here more is more and OTT is never OTT enough.

Kids, don't play too close to the edge!

Love it or loathe it, Singaporeans can’t ignore MBS. It dominates the city skyline between the CBD and the harbour. The SkyPark is a mighty cigar-shaped rocket, perched on a three-towered launchpad which houses the hotel suites. Continue reading

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