Forbes – Macau’s casino revenue isn’t seven times bigger than that of Las Vegas because more people go there. It’s because players bet more in Macau, and casinos have become increasingly more adept at encouraging that trend to build more mass market revenue that’s more than twice as profitable as VIP play. Mass market revenue is approaching 40% of Macau’s total gaming revenue.
Walking the floors of Macau’s major casinos, minimum bets at baccarat table begin at $300 Hong Kong (US$39). There are lower minimums for roulette, the rare crap table, and sometimes for sic bo, a Chinese dice game also known as big-small or cussec in the official revenue figures, played by betting on the outcome of three dice. Blackjack seems evenly mixed between HK$300 and higher minimums, but all of these games are footnotes beside baccarat, particularly since government caps on the number of gaming tables have begun to bite, motivating casino operators to emphasize popularity and profitability over variety for variety’s sake.
Overall, minimum levels are pretty much unchanged from a year ago. What’s changed dramatically is the mix of table minimums. Grand Lisboa used to have low minimum tables on its ground floor area. Now that area has pricier tables, with low minimums advertised for the third floor. On the second level main floor, HK$500 baccarat tables are the standard, and on the bargain rate third floor, you don’t get to see the apparently nearly naked blonde woman – she’s got a body stocking connecting her dots – swinging acrobatically from a suspended ring or any of the other free entertainment.