The casino at Marina Bay Sands is one of the two casinos operating in the city-state of Singapore. Marina Bay Sands can be reached via MRT (subway train) alighting at the 'Bayfront' station on the Circle Line. It is open 24/7 and entry is free for visitors / tourists in Singapore. Singapore nationals or permanent residents, however, need to pay an entry levy of SGD 100 per occasion or SGD 2000 per year to enter the casino. Minimum age for a person entering the gaming area should be 21. Passports / national IDs of foreigners are scanned before they are allowed entry. It is much like the passport scanning at an international airport. They even ask people to remove their eye-glasses so that the image on the passport can be compared with the person's face. The immigration stamp on the passport and the departure card are also examined, and not only while entering the casino but while leaving it too. These are funny rules but that's how it is. Keep reading...
|Sands Marina Bay Singapore|
Persons carrying heavy bags / wet umbrellas are told to deposit the same at the free bag storage counter. Wet umbrellas need to be covered with a plastic umbrella cover before storage. This cover can be obtained for free at the resort entry gates from an automated machine. If you have trouble finding the machine, ask an employee there. It is actually a good thing that bag storage is free at Marina Bay Sands because at Resorts World Sentosa, you need to pay for it.
|Entry To The Casino At Sands Marina Bay Singapore|
Smoking In The casino
The lower (main) casino floor of the casino is a 'smoking' floor which means that smoking is allowed on the gaming tables and at slot machines. There is' however, a small designated gaming area on the lower floor where the casino has put up "No Smoking" signs. This restriction is not enforced properly and hence the visitors can be seen smoking even in this area. The upper floor is a fully non-smoking area. There is more to the story here than just a smoking option. The lower level of the casino is the 'main' casino floor because it is the most populated floor at any time of the day or night. There are more people at the gaming tables and slot machines here as compared to the 'non-smoking' floor. More people mean more excitement and more opportunities for winning. This is particularly true about slot machines. In any case slot machines in Singapore suck at paying but on the non-smoking floor, a win at a slot machine will be nothing short of a miracle. You will lose 99% of the times whereas on the smoking floor, you will lose only 95% of the times you play at a slot machine. The lesson in brief - when in a Singapore casino, stay away from any slot machine.
Well, slot machines are fun if you are not particularly interested in winning. Minimum bets start at 10 cents which means a spin on a 40 line machine will cost SGD 4. Friday & Saturday evening (8 to 10pm) are the best times for trying out slot machines here but on the smoking floor only.
Popular table games like Blackjack / Three Card Poker start at SGD 25. Roulette bets on straight numbers begin at SGD 5. Table games can be played on both levels but many of the tables on the non-smoking floor remain closed for want of players. Still if you are particular about non-smoking, do take a round of the upper floor.
Drinks On The Tables
Drinks are served on the gaming tables and the non-alcoholic variety is free. Hard drinks are charged and the servers usually carry a menu that they produce on demand.
It is a good idea to take a free membership card from the Sands Rewards Club counter before starting to play anywhere in the casino. The membership card can be inserted into the designated slot in a slot machine to earn reward points which are called "Sands Dollars". While playing at a table, hand over the card to the dealer when you sit down for playing. Whenever you make a buy-in at a table game or play at a slot machine, you earn bonus dollars which can be exchanged for food or gifts or free play chips. Remember to encash your rewards before you leave Singapore because the points lapse if not used within a certain period.
Food In The Gaming Area
There are a few restaurants in the gaming area and some are open almost 20 hours of the day. Choice of food is good for Chinese food lovers and very limited for vegetarians. You can get snacks like nuts or chips, etc. at 'Fat Choi' on the smoking floor staring at SGD 2 for a small pack. There is a sandwich counter on the upper floor but with only meat sandwiches.
Dress code in the casino is said to be "Smart Casual" and according to the official policy, half pants are not allowed but in practice they allow anyone who looks like capable of losing some money there. Still, to be on the safer side, wear full pants and avoid flip-flops.
Your Ride Back To The Hotel
If you plan to take public transport back to your hotel, leave latest by 11.30pm. After that time the only option left will be a taxi and that costs money. A taxi ride from Sands Marina Bay to Geylang area at night costs approximately SGD 10. The casino does not provide any free car drops for customers.
Casinos in Singapore make huge money for the casino owners but there are very few winners among the players. Remember this, if you are winning at a certain point of time, seriously think about leaving the casino. Winning streaks last only a short time. ATMs are located outside the casino. If you lose all your cash and need to raid your bank account, you need to exit the casino to go to an ATM and then come back after going through the passport check again. Credit cards can be used at the cashiers counter inside the casino but for that your credit card issuing bank must have given you a cash withdrawal limit on your credit card. If there is no cash withdrawal limit, the credit card transaction will get declined. In other words, you cannot make a 'purchase' transaction using a credit card in a Singapore casino. Better to gamble within your means.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|