Macau is the biggest casino gaming center in Asia. Casino gaming here is operated by legal entities that have been given gaming “concessions” by the local government. At the time of writing this article, there were only six entities having gaming concessions in Macau: S.J.M., Galaxy Casino, Melco Crown, Wynn, Venetian, and MGM. The number of casinos in Macau is a lot more than that which means that each concessionaire operates multiple casinos directly or in partnership arrangements.
Also read: Macau Travel Guide
Entry Norms and Smoking
Minimum age for entering a casino in Macau is 21 years and it applies to everyone. Some casinos have security guards at entry points who check the passports of younger looking guests to confirm if they are 21 year old or not. There is no entry fee and all casinos in Macau are open 24 hours.
Smoking is not allowed on public gaming floors. Most casinos have provided dedicated smoking rooms which are located within the gaming halls.
Major Casinos in Macau
There are three american casino concessionaires in Macau – Venetian, Wynn, and MGM. The following casinos are operated by these american entities in Macau:
- MGM Macau (peninsula)
- Wynn Macau (peninsula)
- Sands Macau (peninsula)
- Wynn Palace (Taipa)
- MGM Cotai (Taipa)
- Venetian (Taipa)
- Sands Cotai Central (Taipa)
- Parisian Macau (Taipa)
Melco Crown Casinos
These three Melco Crown casinos in Macau are located in Taipa:
- City of Dreams
- Studio City
- Altira Macau
Galaxy Entertainment Group Casinos
These are the two major Galaxy Entertainment Group casinos in Macau:
- Galaxy & Broadway Macau (Taipa)
- StarWorld Macau (peninsula)
- Casino Lisboa and Grand Lisboa (peninsula)
- Ponte 16 Casino (peninsula)
- Emperor Palace Casino (peninsula)
- Golden Dragon Casino (peninsula)
- L’Arc Casino (peninsula)
- Babylon Casino (peninsula)
- Grandview Casino (Taipa)
There are a few others too, and in case you are not able to determine who owns a particular casino in Macau, chances are that it is a part of the S.J.M. empire. Grand Lisboa Palace will be their next property to open in Taipa Macau.
Local and Gaming Currency
The local currency of Macau is Pataca but the casino currency is Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). At the time of writing this article, one Hong Kong Dollar was equal to 1.03 Pataca, one USD was equal to 7.87 HKD, and one RMB was equal to 1.17 HKD.
Bet Sizes in Macau Casinos
Slot machines in Macau usually have minimum line bets of 5, 10, 25 cents, or even 1 HKD in VIP gaming areas. As such, slots in Macau are more expensive as compared to Las Vegas. Regular table game bets start at 100 HKD but that kind of low bets are found only in some old casinos in Macau peninsula. Table games in Taipa Macau start at 300 HKD whereas in some casinos such as City of Dreams, Baccarat table games require a minimum bet of 1000 HKD. Read more on this: Lowest Minimum Bets in Macau Casinos
Table Games in Macau Casinos
The most popular casino table game in Macau is Baccarat. This game is so popular in Macau that it generates almost 90% of the total gaming revenue. You may find electronic Baccarat tables in Macau where you may bet as little as 50 HKD, but real table Baccarat will require a bet of 300 HKD or above in most casinos.
Apart from Baccarat, Macau casinos have gaming tables for Blackjack, Stud Poker, Three Card Poker, Sic Bo, Roulette, and Craps.
Macau casinos have plenty of slot machines including the latest Aristocrat Mighty Cash and Lightning Link games. But you need to know that slots in Macau do not pay well. Play only if you must, but do not expect big wins to come easily.
Most casinos in Macau have dedicated rewards programs for gamblers. One can become a member of the rewards program of a casino by presenting their passport at the membership service counter. Rewards can be earned by presenting the membership card to the dealer at a gaming table before one starts to play or make a buy-in. Slot machines have attached membership card readers. One should insert the card into the reader and make sure the card is being read (a small LCD screen on the slot machine will show the status) before starting to play. Rewards can be redeemed for free food, or free slot/table game play. Do keep track of any special promotions that a casino may be running for new/existing members.
Free drinks in Macau casinos are usually restricted to tea/coffee, soft drinks, fruit juices, and beer. All such drinks are usually served upon request at the gaming tables. A casino may also serve wine or hard liquor to a guest depending on the bet size, time of the day, level of the crowd, and the gaming area. Plastic water bottles are kept by the casinos in the gaming halls that guests can pick up and use. It is possible to walk into a casino, take a free drink, and leave the casino without playing.
Play in Moderation
Casino gaming in Macau is expensive and one should play only in moderation. Spare time to enjoy food and sightseeing in Macau. That will keep you out of the casino for a while and also refresh your mind before you plunge back into the game. Good Luck!
Related Article: Macau Travel Guide