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Gambling in Macau. A Guide to the Do’s and Don’ts

  • Macau is bigger than Las Vegas in terms of money played
  • Most of the punters are mainland Chinese
  • Follow the rules and you'll be fine
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Evening in Macau

Gambling in Macau is the Chinese answer to Las Vegas, another city that never sleeps. Betting receipts and money played far out run the totals found in Las Vegas, the City of Lights.

Introduction: Gambling in Macau

In the 1850’s the Portuguese government legalized gambling in the city of Macau, which was an autonomous colony. The Portuguese quickly saw the potential to make money there. Macau’s more famous names are the “Monte Carlo of the East” or the “Gambling Capital of the World.” Up until the 20th Century, you could only play Chinese games. Today there are four main categories for gambling in Macau: greyhound racing, lotteries, casino games and sports betting. Baccarat is especially popular. Interestingly enough, there is no online gambling there. Click here if you want to check out online poker sites in the US

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Fireworks over Macau

Gambling in Macau: The Rules

There was a worrisome dip in income some years ago, but recently things appear to be picking up. About 50% of the total Macau economy is made up by gambling. Most of the gamblers are Chinese from the mainland and Hong Kong. Here are the basic rules for gambling in Macau:

The legal age for gambling is 21.
The only forms of ID that security will accept are your passport or a Hong Kong identity card.
You cannot bring laptops, and cameras into casinos.
The dress code can vary, with some Casinos requesting a more conservative style. There are dress rules when  going to a high roller room. Think of James Bond in Skyfall.
The legal currency is the Hong Kong dollar. Please note it is NOT the Macau Pataca.
Do not get drunk! Las Vegas might be sin city, but gambling in Macau is  much more conservative affair. If you appear even tipsy, then security will show you out.

Gambling in Macau: Where to Play

In Macau the casinos are in two separate locations. The Grand Lisboa, the Wynn, and the Sands are in the downtown area. Macau’s answer to the Las Vegas strip is called the “Cotai Strip” and is slightly out of town. The Studio City and Venetian Casinos are found there and offer a shuttle bus service for punters.

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Not all glamour

Where to Stay

Some of the worlds best hotels are in Macau. All the main casinos offer 5* accommodation. If you want to mix gambling with a dose of Portuguese Heritage tourism, then choose to stay in the downtown area. If just gambling is your thing, then head over to the Cotai strip. Or have a look at PokerStars.

Gambling in Macau: Best Casinos

With the more recent arrival of US casinos, probably you best bang for the buck is either the popular Venetian or Studio City. They are both offer affordable table pricing and an eclectic crowd. Also there are lots of slots to play. If you wanna go large and be a big roller, then the Wynn is you best option.

Shuttle Bus

As with any free service, everyone and their dog starts to abuse the system. To this end, you’ll be needing to show a casino receipt or proof of casino hotel booking.

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Spend, spend, spend!

Gambling in Macau: Entertainment

Unlike Las Vegas, which has PokerStars, Macau has been slow to develop side entertainment as a means of bringing the punters. The casinos are primarily for gambling. The Venetian does host large events like top billing boxing matches and UFC events. Probably the best show in town is the House of Dancing Water found at the City of Dreams casino. If you’re bored then there’s always these online poker sites in the US.

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