The Stardust of Macau

800px-CrapsAs it turns out, Macau is not just for whales—even small-time gamblers are finding a place on the island. But the perks don’t exactly include comped meals at Nobu or a night in the Hangover suite. According to the Wall Street Journal,

At Kam Pek, top customers were offered the chance to redeem their loyalty points for popular dried-seafood products to celebrate the holiday, but they still had to pay for their own drinks. Gamblers can also use points to enter the “Fun Machine Cash Cube,” which gives them 30 seconds to grab crumbled bills blown around by a fan.

If customers want to spend the night at Kam Pek, they are offered one of about 30 basic rooms the casino doles out to its better players for a quick rest, but “they can’t complain…it’s for free,” says Mr. Chun. “Most of the time they’re waiting for the border to open,” he adds, referring to Macau’s border with mainland China, which is shut overnight and doesn’t reopen until 7 a.m.

What’s most striking is the difference in wagers between U.S. and Macau casinos: “Over the past year alone, average minimum bets at mass-market, or non-VIP, gambling tables in Macau have more than doubled to HK$1,000 ($129) from around HK$400 ($52), says analyst Aaron Fischer of brokerage CLSA. That compares with minimum bets of $7 to $50 at casinos in Las Vegas and most other casinos globally, the brokerage estimates.”

$129 for a minimum bet? Macau needs more Stardusts, Four Queens, and Saharas. And some dim sum equivalent of the Cattlemen’s Buffet at the Frontier for $12.95.

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