Macau is still a long way from being the diverse leisure destination Las Vegas has become, according to MGM Resorts' (NYSE: MGM) chief executive there. The gaming giant generates more than half of its sales from nongaming activities in Las Vegas, but in Macau, gaming still accounts for more than 95% of sales. Executives at MGM and competing casinos are hoping to change that over time. New casinos have not only gaming attractions but also Vegas-style shows.

Macau will never be Las Vegas, simply because of the much larger scale gaming has grown to in Macau, but a diversification away from relying on VIP gamblers would be a positive step for the area. As was the case in Las Vegas, infrastructure and a growing middle class will play key roles.

Connecting to China's high-speed rail network would make traveling to Macau easier and there's even talk of a bridge to Hong Kong. That 40-mile bridge would be one heck of an undertaking, but with the kind of money rolling into Macau casinos over the next five years, the area could easily pay for it.

Cotai on the mind
MGM, which is expecting to join Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) and Melco Crown (Nasdaq: MPEL) on the Cotai Strip in 2015, will pay off its Macau debt by the end of this year and will be able to fund any new casino with operations and new debt. The proposed resort would open about the time Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) expects to complete a casino on Cotai, completing nearly a decade of build-out in the area. The MGM casino will be tucked in among Melco's City of Dreams, Las Vegas Sands' Sites 5&6 and Wynn Cotai, a perfect spot for the 3-million-square-foot resort.

By 2015, MGM and Wynn may walk into an even bigger gold mine than casinos today have. If we assume a 25% growth rate from 2010 to 2015, revenue in the Macau gaming market could be a whopping $72 billion per year. No wonder operators are eager to get shovels in the ground.

Foolish bottom line
When you combine gaming growth with improving infrastructure and a growing middle class in China, the next five years look like prime time for Macau's casinos. I've made Las Vegas Sands my top pick. What do you think the top gaming stock is right now? Please vote in our Motley Poll then scroll down to leave a comment explaining your choice.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.