Found via The Big Picture.
In the late summer of 2007, a fifty-year-old former barber named Siu Yun Ping began making regular visits from his village, in Hong Kong, to the city of Macau, the only Chinese territory where it is legal to gamble in a casino. Macau sits on a horn of rocky coastline, where the Pearl River washes into the South China Sea. It’s about a third the size of Manhattan, covering a tropical peninsula and a pair of islands that look, on a map, like crumbs flaking off the mainland. Chairman Mao banned gambling in China long ago, but it endures in Macau because of a wrinkle of history: the city was a Portuguese colony for nearly five hundred years, and when it returned to Chinese control, in 1999, it was entitled to retain some of the flamboyantly libertine traditions that led W. H. Auden to christen it “a weed from Catholic Europe.” The infusion of China’s new riches triggered an unprecedented surge of construction, and by 2006 Macau’s casino revenues had surpassed those of Las Vegas, until then the world’s largest gambling town. Today, the quantity of money passing through Macau exceeds that of Las Vegas five times over.