Macau Venetian house of cards sets new record

Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:03am EST
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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)

<p>Bryan Berg of the U.S. poses with a replica of the Venetian Macao (C) and adjacent constructions built from freestanding playing cards at the Venetian Macao resort hotel in Macau March 10, 2010. Berg broke his own Guinness World of Records for the largest house of freestanding playing cards on Wednesday after a 44-day attempt by using 218,792 cards to build the project, which measures 10.5 meters (34 feet) long, three meters (10 feet) tall and weighs more than 272 kilograms (600 pounds). Picture taken through glass window. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>