Macau Venetian house of cards sets new record

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MACAU (Reuters Life!) - Crowds of baccarat-obsessed Chinese punters crammed inside the world’s largest casino, the Venetian Macau, witnessed on Wednesday the mega-casino’s latest claim to fame as the world’s largest “house of cards.”

Kneeling at a quiet spot not far from the cavernous gaming floors of the casino, Bryan Berg, an American architect placed the last of 218,792 playing cards onto his paper edifice -- a replica of the Venetian Macau -- to break his own Guinness World Record for the largest house of free-standing playing cards.

Berg, a Harvard-trained American architect, took 44 days and 4,051 decks of cards to complete his model inside the Venetian, which sits at the heart of Macau’s Cotai Strip, the China-ruled city’s version of Las Vegas’ neon alley.

Since Macau’s casino sector liberalized in 2002, a spate of Las Vegas style gaming giants have transformed the once sleepy former Portuguese colony into the world’s biggest gaming hub.

Weighing 272 kg and measuring 10 meters by 3 meters, the model which consisted of cards stacked without glue or tape, nearly collapsed several times.

“This has been the most ambitious project I have undertaken to date,” Berg said. “It’s really like a real construction project because you have to engineer every single adjacency and every support that’s supporting everything above,” he told Reuters.

Reporting by Stefanie McIntyre; writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Sugita Katyal