Best Casinos in Macau- Visitor Guide
Casinos in Macau: Bigger than Vegas. That’s what they say about Macau these days. More is gambled in this former Portuguese colony than anywhere else in the world. There are now more than 40 casinos in Macau, from the gondolas and canals at Venetian Macau to the world’s best water show at the City of Dreams. The city even has its own version of the Vegas Strip – the Cotai Strip.
Gambling in Macau has been legal since the 1850s when the Portuguese government legalized the activity in the autonomous colony. Since then, Macau has become known worldwide as the “Gambling capital of the world” or “Monte Carlo of the East”.
Gambling tourism is Macau’s biggest source of revenue, making up about 50% of the economy. Visitors are made up largely of Chinese nationals from mainland China and Hong Kong. With the entry of large foreign casinos from Las Vegas and Australia, Macau overtook the Las Vegas Strip in gambling revenues in 2007.
Until Western-style casino games were introduced in the 20th century, only Chinese games were played, the most popular being Fan-Tan. Generally, gambling in Macau can be divided into one of four categories: casino games, greyhound racing, sports betting, and lotteries. At the present time, Macau does not license online gambling operations.
Macau, a special administrative region like Hong Kong, is the only place in China where casinos are legal, and the business has grown at an astounding pace since the government ended the four-decade gambling monopoly of Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho in 2001.
Macau is the pre-eminent gambling capital of the world, grossing the highest amount of gambling/gaming revenue and greatly dwarfing all the other gambling centers/cities.
We’ve picked our five favorites below. Which Macau casinos are the best?
Venetian Casino Resort
This is the biggest casino resort in the world (bigger than anything in Vegas). Inside Venetian Macau, you’ll find the regions’ premier shopping mall, a 3000 room hotel and gondoliers roaming canals along mock, Italian streets. Many of the visitors are just here to pretend they’re in Venice.
It’s the complete package as a resort; there are shows by night, excellent restaurants and the Venetian hotel is one of the best places to stay in Macau. Utterly over the top and completely fun, this is the best of Las Vegas transported to Asia.
City of Dreams Macau
Macau’s first destination for grown-up gamblers, the City of Dreams forgoes the gondoliers and gladiators of its competitors to offer a more stylish experience. The gaming floor is one of the biggest and best designed in the city, where you can expect to stand elbow to elbow with high rollers.
Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels and the best house show in town are just some of the reasons that the City of Dreams is considered one of the most exclusive casinos in Macau. If you’re looking for the James Bond experience, the City of Dreams is the place to sip your martini.
The Sands Macau
Macau’s first Las Vegas-style casino has lost none of its appeals. More down to earth than Venetian and City of Dreams, the live bands and free drinks at the Sands Macau make this an easy casino to spend a few hours. The massive gambling hall has all the appeal of an aircraft hangar, but it does mean there is a wide range of tables and minimum bets that won’t break the bank.
The location right next to the Macau/Hong Kong ferry pier means it’s convenient for a day trip, but it can be swamped on Friday and Saturday night with businessmen from Hong Kong.
Smaller, but smarter than most of its rivals, the Wynn Macau is where the big rollers go to splash their cash. Million-dollar tapestries are stapled to the wall and the Qing era vases grace the hotel lobbies, while the designer curves make it one of the most attractive casinos in Macau.
Inside you’ll find tables with pricey minimum bets and a high roller room that is said to be one of the most exclusive in the city. It’s a casino worth seeing but perhaps stick to the slot machines.
Grand Lisboa Macau
This is a Macau original. Before the Las Vegas imports arrived, the Grand Lisboa was the biggest deal in town. Its Michelin star restaurant and five-star hotel rooms are a testament to its success. Yet, the Grand Lisboa still remains most attractive because the casino offers less glitz and more gambling.
The warren of rooms hide hundreds of tables and plenty of big rollers. The focus is on showing your cards rather than catching a show. This is the best place in town to enjoy the more classical Macau casino experience.
Which Is The Best Casino In Macau?
- The world’s biggest casino is located inside Venetian Macao Courtesy of Sands China.
- Grand Lisboa Macau © Daniel Smith / Flickr.
- Courtesy of Wynn Palace Macau.
- Courtesy of MGM China.
- Morpheus Macau Courtesy of Melco Resorts & Entertainment.