Venetian Macao 10th birthday bash pops corks, breaks ribs


venetian-macao-birthday-adelson-ribsLas Vegas Sands’ original Macau casino celebrated its tenth anniversary without the company’s founder Sheldon Adelson, who was injured on his way to the party.

On Monday, Sands China threw a major birthday party for the Venetian Macao, the first Las Vegas Sands property to be built in Macau and the one that the company likes to claim originated the concept of the integrated resort, rather than just building a gaming floor with a hotel attached.

The celebration was originally scheduled to take place in late August, but that party was scrubbed when Typhoon Hato blew through town, leaving some casinos flooded with more water than the Venetian’s famous gondola canals.

Sands China president Wilfred Wong Ying-wai reeled off some impressive statistics, including the fact that 280m guests had crossed the Venetian Macao’s threshold in the last ten years. That represents nearly three-fifths of all Sands China guests over that span.

The Venetian was the first property to be built on what became known as the Cotai Strip, which was at the time essentially a swamp, leading Macau’s other operators to claim Adelson was going senile. Adelson had the last laugh, as every other Macau casino concessionaire has either built or is finishing building their own lavish resorts on Cotai.

Also in attendance at Monday’s shindig was Edmund Ho, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, along with multiple high-ranking local officials.

Not in attendance was Gondolier #1 aka Adelson, who apparently slipped while riding on a ferry between Hong Kong and Macau. The resulting fall reportedly left Adelson with three fractured ribs, a not inconsiderate injury when you’re 84 years old, but hey, better than a busted hip.

Ron Reese, Sands senior VP of talking to the press, insisted that Adelson was suffering more from having to miss the event and vowed that the casino titan would make it back to Macau in early 2018 to see if anyone saved him some cake.