Casinos on the Cheap in Macau


Macau may not have quite the reputation of Atlantic City or Vegas, but last year, it raked in US$45 billion, while Vegas only saw one-seventh of that. Between the numbers and its placement in the last James Bond movie, Macau has gotten a nice little attention boost. Most of Macau’s visitors come from China and Hong Kong for the day, as it’s the only place to legally gamble in China. Of the 28 million visitors in 2012, only half of those stayed overnight. If you are a gambler yourself, we recommend this slot online website.

Macau does have some great historical sights and wonderful Portuguese-infused food, but that’s for another day. Even if you are not a gambler, Macau’s hotels are worth a look and a stay. Yes, they are expensive, but you can usually get some pretty good deals that justify a night of plush relaxation.

The main ways of finding deals are through the hotels’ websites, or through Groupon or Beecrazy Getaways tabs. If you’re coming from Hong Kong, these deals will include round-trip ferry tickets, hotel room, and depending on the deal, breakfast. If you’re just going to Macau for a concert, those tickets will also include ferry tickets. To get it even cheaper, buy a deal and go during the week, as prices can nearly double on weekends. If you visit during your birthday month, you can get two-for-one ferry tickets from Cotai, and all you need is your ID.

Most hotels are quite plush, especially those on the reclaimed strip of Cotai. If you want size, go for a room at the Venetian. The hotels at Cotai Sands are gorgeous; the Holiday Inn there is the furthest thing from what you’re currently imagining. The Hard Rock Hotel’s rooms are small and more standard, but they do give you complimentary welcome drinks. Most hotels will have excellent pools, tons of restaurants and great shopping. Entertainment is a bit lacking, but the vast majority of those who visit Macau are focused on winning. Clubs are unsurprisingly expensive.

The shops range from affordable Bershka to the throat-restricting prices of Cartier. Skip the spas; they are way too expensive to enjoy. Food is also pricey, but taxis are cheap, so you can easily head out to local places for a better, more wallet-friendly meal. An even cheaper way to do this is to take the free shuttle to the Macau City ferry terminal and then walk or take a short taxi ride.

Gambling is pretty expensive, though. The buy-ins are much higher than Vegas. I usually either play the cheap slots or craps if I don’t buy any clothes. And I usually regret it!

Safety in Macau is no problem. There are safes in all the hotel rooms, and unless you win big, nobody will pay much attention to you. If you travel with a Western-looking guy, he might get attention from sex workers, but that’s about it. And if you have a limited wardrobe, don’t wear anything you want to wear again soon to the casinos as smoking indoors is still allowed.

Do you press your luck in Macau?


About Author

Maureen always knew she wanted to travel. In college, she studied and traveled through the Caribbean and Central America, and the first time she fell in love was with Mexico City. After graduating, she spent several years teaching EFL in Europe, the Americas and Southeast Asia and traveling in every spare moment. She's currently living in Hong Kong, and getting lost while traveling is her main hobby.


  1. How timely! I leave tomorrow for a short trip to Hong Kong and was debating whether to take a day trip to Macau. Now it’s definitely on my list. And thanks especially for the heads-up on the indoor smoking!

    • Thanks for entitling an article ‘casinos on the cheap in Macau’ which gives no actual information on cheap casinos in Macau.

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