Macau, China has become the world’s gambling destination, drawing in more money than any other casino city on the planet. While many people in the West may view Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world, in Asia Las Vegas is referred to as the little Macau of North America.
Many of the casinos in Macau are hosted in either full blown all-inclusive casino resorts or in luxury hotels. The city is actually an ex-Portuguese colony and historically was a den for pirates. Gambling has been legal in Macau since 1847, but the casino boom did not begin until after Macau was passed back to the Chinese government from Portugal in 1999. In 2001, a monopolized gambling license expired and in 2002 the city began allowing foreign companies to operate casinos in the country.
People from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other locations in Asia make the relatively short trip to Macau on a regular basis, daily even. However, Macau is drawing people to visit their casinos from all over the world. As a result of this enormous interest, new casinos are popping up in Macau quite frequently. The list below describes three of the most popular casinos in Macau as well as three new casinos opening up over the next few months.
When the Wynn came to Macau it was one of the first to bring the flavor of Las Vegas to this Asian city. The Wynn is much smaller than most of its rival casinos, though it has added the Encore Tower hotel (which deals only in suites and high rollers). Inside and out, this is an award winning casino that is a cut above the average. This is a casino that feels more approachable and cozier with more intimate gaming rooms compared to the hugely hangar sized gaming floors of other casinos. The low ceilings and smaller rooms make for a gaming experience that feels more high end and personal. It has a boutique size gaming space about half the size of the Sands Macau, but it is still around 200,000 square feet.
Historically, the Wynn has attracted the cream of the crop of players from around the world to enjoy the superior service and some of the highest stakes in the city. The minimum stakes are typically higher than other casinos, with clientele who tend to be moneyed. Despite the reputation for hosting high rollers, the staff is attentive and personable. No snobs here.
It is no surprise that Las Vegas style casinos have made their way to Macau. The Sands Macau is actually the very first Las Vegas style casino, including buffets, live bands, and free drinks, as well as the many other perks associated with the finest casinos in Las Vegas. The Sands has been designated the biggest casino in the world, but with new casinos popping up almost daily, this designation may not last.
However, The Sands is well known for its very high standards and massive main gaming floor. This particular casino attracts many different players due to the wide range of minimum bets that are offered on a variety of games. At the other end, The Sands takes very good care of its high rollers, in quite superfluous style. This casino still has one of the best betting ranges in Macau, from rock bottom to sky high, as well as around 740 gaming tables. While The Sands remains one of the best Las Vegas style casinos in Macau, it has its competition in the City of Dreams.
City of Dreams Macau
As compared to the Wynn and the Sands, the City of Dreams is one of the newer mega casino resorts in Macau. It is still a Las Vegas style resort, but with a bit more style and a lot less faux cobblestones and gondoliers like the Venetian casino across the road. This is a casino resort with round the clock entertainment, gourmet restaurants, and high end hotels. This is a destination resort for gamblers as well as tourists looking to relax. The City of Dreams is designed to be younger, smarter, and hipper than the old Las Vegas style backrooms and black suits of old.
One example of this evolution in design and focus on the current trends is the PokerStars Live Macau poker room on level 2 of the City of Dreams, Macau casino. PokerStars is the world’s largest poker company with the most popular online poker site in the world. The online presence offers several of the same casino games that are featured at the PokerStars Live Macau poker room, and they recently expanded their offerings to include casino games, so players can practice their skills online before heading to the live room at the City of Dreams. The PokerStars poker room at Macau is the only one in the city to offer both cash games and tournaments every single day, with cash games operating 24 hours per day. The overall square footage of gaming space at the City of Dreams Macau is in excess of 420,000 with about 1,350 machines and 520 tables.
Broadway Macau – Opening Soon
This new casino will be the only riverside Macanese casino with 180 degree views. It will have a spacious outdoor terrace that is accessible directly from the casino floor. This will give players an entirely different perspective from the club-style casino gaming. The open air terrace will have dining services as well as casino ambassadors to attend to the needs of every visitor. They are expecting to have as many as five hundred (500) gaming tables between the Broadway Casino and the adjacent Galaxy Macau phase II. This is intended to be an upscale mass market casino with the first hawker street market concept in Macau.
Louis XIII – Opening Soon
This new casino located in Cotai will offer an ultra-high end experience. Those fortunate enough to stay at Louis XIII can expect to experience a luxury boutique hotel and casino with prices that will range from about $10,000 per night to about $130,000 for a 20,000 square foot suite. There are two hundred and thirty (230) rooms and sixteen (16) villas planned. The casino is expected to have sixty-six (66) gaming tables, while exclusive shops will offer jewelry and other luxury items. This will be Macau’s first domestic, luxury lifestyle brand, including several private gourmet outlets with available catering to individual suites, as well as a fleet of 15 custom made Rolls Royce Phantoms that will transport guests to the property in style, comfort, and luxury.
Studio City Casino Macau – Opening Soon
The Cotai Strip will soon have this new cinema themed casino. One of the major stakeholders of this project is Melco-Crown; Melco is behind the amazing City of Dreams development in Macau. This will be a new integrated resort with a vast array of unique entertainment and attractions. It will have the best global entertainment, iconic landmarks, and resort experiences. Studio City will be a glamorous two-tower hotel with an Art Deco-inspired architecture and will take gaming to a new level with a 500,000 square foot casino, offering the world’s most popular table games and slots with amazing jackpots. This will be Asia’s first leisure resort to integrate television and film production facilities, gaming, retail, and hotels.