Here’s the plan: a new casino hotel, called The Glaswegian Macau. A sister hotel to The Venetian, The Parisian, and a rival to the upcoming Cotai Sands rebrand, The Londoner.
Let me explain.
I’m a Scot living in Hong Kong. Whenever I visit Macau, I can’t help but think of new ways for Scotland, once so prominent in the development of Hong Kong, to promote itself in today’s Asia. In particular, how my native city, Glasgow, could champion its charms.
For those unfamiliar with Scotland’s urban hierarchy, Glasgow is its biggest city but not its most famous. That falls to Edinburgh – Glasgow’s rival and Scotland’s capital – with its imposing castle and elegant New Town.
Someone from Edinburgh is called an ‘Edinburgher’ but what prospects, really, are there for a Scottish hotel involving the word ‘burgher’? Everyone would think they were booking an overnight in McDonald’s, and no end of confusion would crop up about fruit machines. Bunches of cherries and plums…in a McDonald’s?
A Glaswegian is the term given to someone who comes from Glasgow. So, The Glaswegian. It’s the obvious choice.
A brief history of Glasgow, then, lest any casino hotel investors be reading.
Glasgow was once famed for its ships, built alongside the River Clyde. Glasgow gloried in its art tearooms, pioneered in the 1890s by scone moguls like Miss Kate Cranston, who started Miss Cranston’s Tearooms. And it’s fair to say Glasgow has always been renowned for its cloudy skies and wet weather.
What would a hotel named The Glaswegian offer tourists in a Macau keen to diversify and attract different visitors?
The Venetian Macau has an indoor shopping mall arranged around a replica of Venice’s canals, beneath a reliably blue sky. The Glaswegian Macau could have its own eminent water feature: a shallower version of the River Clyde, under a roof painted with murals of grey clouds.
The Venetian has gondolas: The Glaswegian could offer comparable floating fun. On the real River Clyde in Scotland, there’s a paddle steamer called The Waverley, which took factory workers to the seaside many years ago, and where the description of inebriated persons as ‘steaming’ originated (passengers started drinking as soon as the steamer set off). A miniature Waverley could sail along the indoor River Clyde though, with Chinese holidaymakers aboard, it might just be green tea steaming.
What of other casino elements? In Glasgow, the biggest gamble anyone takes is leaving the house without an umbrella, or coat. In The Glaswegian, the betting could be real, in a new gambling game, ‘Dark Sky’ rather than blackjack. You would decide whether or not to walk along the banks of the indoor River Clyde with an umbrella or a cardigan. The house would control the weather. Would it rain or would it not?
There would be conventional gaming too, and the tearooms historically linked to Glasgow could help enhance gambling’s attractions to women. The Glaswegian would have the Toasted Scone and Jam Casino. And Miss Cranston’s Casino.
To sum up the potential patrons of The Glaswegian Macau:
Visitors seeking distinctive gambling games, with strong fundamentals of physical fun.
Actual Scots – keen to holiday somewhere different, like a version of their city where they might win money from getting completely soaked. The appeal to this demographic could deepen if drinks at The Glaswegian were to be cut-rate, because Scotland just controversially introduced a minimum unit cost for alcohol. Cheap booze to get ‘steamin’ on the Waverley? The whole of Glasgow will come, leaving the actual city delightfully uncrowded when Asian visitors, inspired by The Glaswegian Macau, decide to skip Edinburgh and visit Glasgow, Scotland.