Gambling in any form other than the government-sanctioned lottery is illegal in China, except for the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong. In Macau, gambling is life and blood of the nation that it has even surpassed Las Vegas Strip as the gambling capital of the world, particularly with the entry of huge casino conglomerates from Australia and Las Vegas.
In fact, gambling is a major revenue source, accounting for as much as 70% of the region’s entire economy.
Since the end of the Stanley Ho-monopoly, gambling revenues in Macau exponentially increased, grossing the biggest amount among all other gambling destinations in the world. Visitors who go to Macau primarily do so to gamble, many of these are Chinese locals coming from Mainland China where it is illegal to gamble.
Before the entry of Western casino companies, most of the games played in Macau casinos are Chinese games, with Fan-Tan as the most popular since most of the gamblers visiting the region are Chinese nationals. Since the early 20th century, Macau casinos now offer lotteries, sports betting, greyhound racing, horse racing, and casino games. To date, the Macau government does not grant any licenses for online gambling operations.
Macau has more than 40 casinos, with The Venetian Macau as the largest. These casinos are under the government franchise and operate under common guidelines. Macau is home to several major casino operators including Galaxy Entertainment Group, MGM China Holdings, SJM Holdings, Wynn Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment, and Sands China, which has opened huge new developments in the region.
The Venetian Macau is the largest casino in the world, with a square footage of 546,000. It has an upscale shopping mall, 3,000 rooms, 53 bars and restaurants, and gondoliers helping visitors stroll along the canals. The casino has 4,200 assortments of slots and table games.
Address: Avenida Da Nave Desportiva, Cotai, Macau
Phone Number: +853 8889 888
Founded in August 2016, Wynn Palace is a classy hotel and casino with five-star status. It is the second casino opened by Wynn Resorts. The casino features 350 gaming tables, with 60 tables reserved for the VIPs. Wynn Palace also houses over 1,000 gaming machines and live table games. Players can choose from a wide variety of games including video poker, video slots, and progressive slots.
The luxurious hotel is like an upgraded version of Wynn Macau featuring 1,706 rooms, villas, and suites. It also has the biggest spa, measuring 48,000 square feet filled with different treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, water therapy zone, and relaxation area. Art connoisseurs will love that Steve Wynn, an avid art collector, dotted the hotel and casino with valuable artworks
Address: Estrada do Istmo, Lote 3, Cotai Strip, Macau
Phone Number: +853 2882 8833
The Parisian-themed resort opened in September 2016 and is the fourth offering of the Sands China. It is heavily inspired by Paris that it even has a half-scale Eiffel Tower, with observation decks. The 135,000-square-foot casino has 400 gaming tables where players can gamble on roulette and baccarat. The most popular game in the casino is the local game, Sic Bo. It gives punters a 50% chance of winning. Parisian Macau also boasts of more than 2,500 gaming machines offering video poker and slots.
Address: Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, Macau
Phone Number: +853 2882 8888
Dubbed as the biggest casino in the world, Venetian Macau is a replica of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas complete with the Grand Canal, gondolas, and gondoliers serenading guests, but much bigger.
The casino boasts of 376,000 square feet of casino space filled to the brim with 640 gaming tables offering sands stud poker, baccarat, Sic Bo, blackjack, and roulette and 1,760 slot machines, mostly Asian-themed.
Address: Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Macau
Phone Number: +853 8802 1888
This MGM casino is located on the Macau Peninsula, which opened in 2007. It is one of the few casinos in the world that has beautifully blended art with gambling. The casino boasts of several authentic Salvador Dali sculptures welcoming guests at the entrance. The entire resort is also dotted with exquisite artworks including those by local artists.
The casino’s gaming space spans 284,353 square feet and has 1,271 gaming machines and 427 poker and table games. Popular games played here are blackjack, three-card poker, casino war, Caribbean stud, craps, poker, mini-baccarat, roulette, 12 tables, and sic bo.
Address: Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
Phone Number: +853 2828 3838
This 12-story casino is one of the original and oldest gambling centre in Macau. It was built in 1970 by Stanley Ho, Macau’s gambling godfather. The casino has four floors of gaming floors boasting of over 390 gaming tables and 880 slot machines. Games offered here include baccarat, three-card baccarat, sic bo, blackjack, roulette, Caribbean stud poker, fortune wheel, and casino war.
With gambling as the main source of employment and revenue for Macau, some guidelines have been set to make things easier for the government, locals, and visitors.
Macau has its own currency, the Macau Pataca or MOP$. Although casinos in the region prefer the use of the Hong Kong dollar. Some casinos do not accept any other currency but only Hong Kong money. The guidelines of each casino are pretty standard and casino games offered are somewhat similar. Baccarat is the most popular casino game by visitors followed by slot machines, blackjack, and roulette.
Most of the casinos are open 24/7 but the action only starts after lunch and extends until the wee hours of the morning. Peak periods are after dinner when people are abuzz, particularly on “hot tables.”
Foreigners must be 18 years old to gamble. Locals of Macau must be 21 years old to do so. Some casinos require the presentation of a passport or Hong Kong identity card to allow entry.
It is best to leave cameras and laptops in the hotel before heading down the casino floor. Best to leave your luggage as well as they are not allowed into the casinos. They can also be left in the cloakroom.
The dress code varies. Some casinos, though, will not accept those wearing flip flops, sleeveless tops, and shorts. VIP or high roller rooms tend to be much stricter in the dress code.
Whilst Las Vegas is a sin city, Macau is much more conservative when it comes to alcohol so it is best to go easy on the booze. Visibly drunk players may be refused entry or shown the door.
Most casinos offer free shuttle buses but to be sure, it is best to have a receipt from the casino or any proof that you are billeted in any of the casinos in the region.
Since gambling in China is illegal, many mainlanders are resorting to spending their cash on online casinos. Yes, several casinos accept Chinese nationals even if it is illegal for them to gamble because these casino operators that they would miss out big time in revenues if they don’t cater to the Chinese hungry for some casino action. In recent years, the number of Chinese nationals from mainland China is comparable to the entire gross domestic product of Beijing. Online casinos have become a better option for these gamblers because they do not have to go travel to Macau or Hong Kong to gamble. They can do at the comforts of their home, whilst they are wearing their pajamas and munching on chips. These online casinos also offer punters better odds.
This online casino offers casino games and video slots from Microgaming, Play’n Go, Pragmatic Play, Quickfire, and Evolution Gaming.
Founded by Araxio Development, this online casino has one of the best collections of casino games from world-renowned software providers including Quickspin Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Rival Gaming, Yggdrasil Gaming, Habanero, and Igrosoft, to name a few.
Another online casino by Araxio Development, Buran Casino offers avid video slots players a wide variety of entertaining games developed by Microgaming, Elk Studios, and Quickspin.
This online casino from the Palace Group is another outstanding website that offers players flexible options for gaming. Cabaret Club also offers one of the most enticing bonuses and promotions. The site has more than 330 casino games ranging from slots to video poker. Popular slot titles in the casino include Hellboy, Immortal Romance, and Terminator 2.
Licensed and regulated by the Curacao government, Casino Carnaval is one of the most trusted and reliable online casinos that offer a wide range of games powered by some of the leading software providers such as Microgaming, iSoftBet, and Habanero.