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China's building a Gotham-inspired super casino that bets big on Batman

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Macau's Studio City has licensed an 'unrivaled portfolio' of DC Comics and Warner Bros. characters

A virtual reality Batman ride and Wonder Woman go-karts will be just two of the Hollywood-themed rides at a new $3.2 billion resort opening in the Chinese city of Macau. Attractions are even built into the building itself, with the resort's creators Melco Crown Entertainment claiming that a 130-meter-high ferris wheel located in the building's central tower was inspired by the image of "two asteroids shooting through a Gotham City building."

'Batman Dark Flight' will let visitors fly through Gotham bringing baddies to justice

The complex is set to open in mid-2015, with a "Batman Dark Flight" attraction billed as an "action-packed motion ride" that lets visitors "fly through Gotham City, following Batman … as he brings some the most notable Super-Villains from his Rogue's Gallery to justice." Other DC Comics superheroes have also been licensed for Studio City — children can "[climb] on structures with Batman and Superman and [drive] go-karts with Wonder Woman and The Flash."

The "asteroid holes" in the center of Studio City incorporate a 130-meter-high ferris wheel.

All this family-friendly activity is designed to rejuvenate faltering casino revenue in Macau. The former Portuguese colony is the gambling hub of Asia with revenues seven times bigger than Las Vegas, but in 2014 suffered its worst year, with Chinese anti-corruption policies dissuading high-rollers from turning up to play. The solution? Attract the middle classes with a little help from Batman and friends.

Along with DC's stars there's the usual assortment of clubs, bars, and restaurants, including a "space station-themed food court dining experience" which will use holographic projections to mimic "gigantic viewing window looking out in to deep space." The resort's owners have also tapped some non-fictional American heroes, with Robert De Niro, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, and Martin Scorsese all set to appear in a $70 million short film-cum-advert for the casino. Even Batman might be overshadowed.