The Maven Meter: MGM Macau Casino & Hotel
(Last updated: August 23, 2023)
Commencing operations on December 18th, 2007, MGM Macau was the second Vegas like resort to open in Macau, after its next door neighbor, the Wynn Macau. The hotel project was a 50-50 venture between MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho, Stanley Ho’s highly visible and most influential daughter. She had been the leading candidate to succeed her father as head of SJM, but Ho’s fourth wife, the ex-dancer Angela Leong, took those honors instead in early 2011. Shortly after, Ms Ho sold 20% of her stock in MGM, essentially relinquishing any controlling interest she had in the property.
MGM’s main goal these days should be to try and close some of the gap between themselves and their most natural rival, the Wynn. They’ve always lagged behind them significantly in terms of market share, mostly due to poor VIP numbers. I’ve always found that strange considering that MGM has always had the far superior casino, but I guess that service, luxury and those big plush Encore Tower suites matter much more to whales.
MGM Macau Photo Gallery
MGM MACAU CASINO GAMES
MGM offers a fine assortment of Western games, including a newly opened Poker room.
Baccarat – MGM has zero Baccarat tables anywhere on the mass gaming floor. Crazy towns, if you ask me.
Commission Free Baccarat – Won Banker bets totalling 6 pay 50%. Minimum bet is $500.
Blackjack – $500 minimum bet, which is the sickly standard for casinos of this size.
MGM’s Blackjack used to be the best in town, as Aces could be split up to 4 times, but those days are long gone now. As of 2023, they are currently offering the worst Blackjack in town. Not only can you just split up to 3 hands (-0.01%), but Doubles made with totals of 11 lose both bets vs a Dealer Blackjack, instead of just the original wager. This results in a house edge of 0.25% compared to the standard number of 0.16% city wide.
To show how far they’ve fallen, they’re also offering Lucky 7 and Over Under 13 side bets as well. Avoid both sucker bets like the plague!
Caribbean Stud Poker – Payout is a proper 100-1 for a royal flush. Minimum bet is a steep $500. Like Las Vegas Sands casinos, players can bet more than $25 on the side bet and then receive higher Flush, Full House and 4 of a Kind payouts.
MGM also awards minor prizes to players betting the Progressive Jackpot. I don’t know how often they hit, but I saw someone win $285 the last time I was there.
Craps – They have one table with 3-4-5 odds. Pass line bet is $300. God, I wish I still had money.
Roulette – Inside/Outside minimums are $50 and $200.
Sic Bo – 7 different bets. Big/Small minimums are $300.
Slots – About 400 slots with minimums from 5 cents to $5. Live Gaming consoles are MGM’s newest addition, featuring $50, $100 and $200 Baccarat, and no Roulette or Sic Bo. As for electronic games, Baccarat ($10), Blackjack ($50), Roulette ($20), and Sic Bo ($20) are all available.
Texas Hold ‘Em – Legitimately surprised to see MGM with a Poker Room. Western games in Macau got reduced during Covid, not expanded. The blinds, buy-ins are rake caps are noted below.
The rake is a standard 5%. However it is also capped at the number above, should 5% of the pot be an unusually high amount.
Three Card Poker – Minimum bet is $500.
MGM MACAU PROMOTIONS
MGM’s VIP rolling program returns the following rates:
I believe if you turnover $1,000,000 you can 5 free nights in the hotel.
The program resets after 28 days.
MGM MACAU HOTEL
MGM’s 35 story hotel has 600 rooms in total, with prices that used to be $300 or $400 Mops cheaper than the Wynn Macau. That’s not the case anymore, as MGM Macau is somehow now more expensive. Crazy towns, if you ask me, as the Wynn has vastly superior rooms, spas, amenities, and service.
Rates below are in Macau Mops, and include all tax and service charges.
It’s strange that weekends aren’t available anymore. MGM can’t be attracting that many VIP gamblers.
MGM MACAU GRANDE PRACA
The highlight of MGM is the gorgeous Grande Praca, accessible via the main lobby. It’s especially ambient at night, when the black sky busts in through the skylight dome, providing the perfect backdrop for the brightly lit facades and terraces.
It’s not too shabby in the day time either, although I think the butterfly decorations were removed in 2019.
In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful section of any hotel in Macau, and well worth visiting even if you’re not staying at MGM.
MGM MACAU DINING
MGM has a good mix of Asian and International restaurants. Prices on average tend to fall on the high side.
Aux Beaux Arts – Aux Beaux Arts has some good hype around town, but it’s overrated in my opinion. Soup and appetizers cost $108 to $238, while pasta and rice runs $238 or $248, and meat favourites $248 to $598. 30 grams of caviar costs an appalling $888, while seafood platters are $988/$1688 and sharing dishes for 2 or more people $258 to $1688.
A Sunday Brunch set costs $458 per person, with one additional glass of champagne $120. Some of the stuff on offer includes wagyu beef tartare, baked escargot, grilled salmon, and beef bourguignon.
For a review of my disappointing dinner at Aux Beaux Arts, please click here: Trip Report II.
Aux Beaux Arts is located in the Grande Praca and is open from 6 pm to 11 pm on Tuesday to Saturday. On Sunday it’s open from 12 pm to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 11 pm at night.
Rossio – In the shockers of all shockers, Rossio no longer has a buffet. And it used to be the best one on the old Peninsula! No, the Maven does not like this one bit. What we now have is a Portuguese/Macanese joint that I wouldn’t touch in a million years. When in Macau, Macanese food is tried outside the hotel casinos in long established restaurants that have been opened for decades, not inside the Grande Praca at MGM Macau. It’s not the real deal, so don’t even bother.
Appetizers run $80 to $270, while mains are $140 to $445 and sharing dishes $260 to $850. There’s also pizza and pasta ($120 to $180) thrown in for some reason, along with Wagyu Beef Burgers ($190) and Lobster Cobb Salad ($215), things I’ve never seen on any Portuguese menu before.
Hours are from 7 am to 3 pm, and 6 pm top 10 pm on weekdays. On weekdays, it’s open from 7 am to 10 pm.
Imperial Court – Imperial Court used to offer a lot more set meals. Now they’re only down to just two.
Dim Sum Set: $380 for 6 kinds
Imperial Court Tasting Menu: 6 courses for $1280, $1580 (with tea), $1780 (with wine)
The rest of the menu is a la carte. Appetizers go for $120 to $280, while soup is $80 to $380, and meat favourites $180 to $680. Pricier choices include Chef’s Recommendations for $150 to $380, while barbecue is $140 to $720 and bird’s nest $480 to $1200. The rest of the menu is composed of seafood ($180 to $490), poultry ($180 to $880), vegetables ($180 to $280), and rice and noodles ($180 to $320).
Dim sum is available at lunch only, with choices that run between $60 and $160.
Hours are from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Friday, and from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 to 11:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
North By Square Eight – Square Eight used to offer a small buffet but they’ve scrapped that concept and divided the restaurant in two, with one side dealing in Northern Chinese cuisine and the other half offering Southern Chinese favourites. Here is the menu for the Northern dishes.
Appetizers cost $50 to $80, while soup is $65 to $70, and dumplings $40 to $65. Seafood is a pricey $125 to $950, while meat and poultry are $70 to $250, and simple noodle dishes $75 to $95.
North By Square Eight is located opposite the casino floor. It’s open daily from 11 am to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 11 pm.
South By Square Eight – South by Square Eight deals in Hong Kong and Cantonese favourites, and the early returns have been very positive.
Appetizers are a totally decent $50 to $80, while soup is $50 to $130 and dim sum favourites just $45. Seafood can get a little expensive, going for $125 to $595, while barbecue is $105 to $170 and noodles $65 to $120. The other selections on the menu include steamed rice ($85 to $140), and meat and poultry ($75 to $115).
They also have an all day breakfast set for $95.
Square Eight is located opposite the casino floor and stays open 24/7.
Pastry Bar – I walked by the the Pastry Bar a million times and thought they only sold desserts, but I was way wrong. The menu is actually quite substantial, with soup, salad, sandwiches, pizza and pasta all available. Dishes tend to hang around $100, with soup $65 to $100, sandwiches $95 to $155 and noodles and rice $105 to $135. In the morning, three different egg choices are $85 to $105, while pasta is $95 and pizza $100 to $140.
On the left side of the Patisserie they also sell a lot of coffee, dates, honey, cookies and beef sauce.
The Pastry Bar is located in the hallway linking MGM to One Central Mall and is open daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
MGM MACAU POOL
MGM’s small rooftop pool offers some pretty smoking views of the South China Sea and Taipa.
Here’s the Sai Van bridge with Hengqin in the background, an area that is getting built up super fast. Say what you want about the Chinese, but they don’t mess around when it comes to development.
As for the pool, it’s unheated so it closes down for three months every year, between January and March.
Otherwise the pool keeps hours daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Pool Bar – Pool Bar has more food than beverages on the menu with appetizers $78 to $100, snacks $78 to $88, sandwiches $105 to $158 and pasta, rice and noodles $100 to $128. Beers are to $85, while cocktails are $95 and glasses of champagne and wine $60 to $160. If you prefer full bottles instead, they’re $300 to $2000.
Located right beside the outdoor pool on the third floor, Pool Bar is open everyday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.
MGM MACAU SPA
MGM guests get no use of the facilities at Tria Spa unless they pay to get in, with the door pass $400. If you’re interested in a treatment instead, the spa offers 120 to 180 minute Tria Rituals for $1980 to $3280, while 60 to 90 minute body massages are $780 to $3520. There’s also various body wraps and scrubs for $680 to $1380 and facial treatments are $580 t0 $1980.
Unfortunately, their Couples Massage and Romance Package have both been discontinued.
If your treatment exceeds $750 then you are allowed to use the sauna, steam, jacuzzi or flotation pool afterwards free of charge, for as long as you want. Please note that the latter two are community facilities, open to both men and women, so bathing suits are required.
Tria Spa is open from 10 am to 4 am.
Now that the Lions Bar has closed for good, MGM is down to one proper bar.
ABA Bar – Sophisticated lounge type venue, ABA’s menu consists of a lot of bourbon, whisky, gin, rum, tequila, and vodka, with most selections in the $65 to $220 range. Beer is a very affordable $55 to $150, while aperitifs are $65 and cocktails $95 or $170.
As for wine, full bottles run between $450 and $2500 while glasses of reds or whites are $90 to $500. Champagne lovers will have to drop between $780 to $4000 for bottles and $160 to $800 for single glasses.
Happy Hour is from 6 pm to 8 pm Sundays to Thursdays when it’s Buy 1 Get 1 free. Glasses of sparkling wine, red wine, white wine and cocktails are the only drinks on offer, each going for $95.
They also have a small snack menu with selections that include French cheese, wagyu sliders, smoked salmon and beef tartare conelets for $68 to $108.
ABA Bar also has live music every Friday and Saturday evening from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm, a rarity on the old Peninsula.
ABA Bar is located beside Aux Beaux Arts and keeps hours daily from 6 pm to 12 am.
With One Central Mall accessible via the MGM lobby and casino, you don’t even have to go outside to access over 200,000 square feet of overrated marked up designer clothes, cosmetics and bags.
In normal circumstances I believe that you can never beat the house, but you probably have a better chance going against casino dealers than your wife and say, Mr Fabio Caviglia. She’ll probably double down next with Hugo Boss and Ermenegil Do Zegna, and that’d only be the beginning. I don’t know what the house edge on that action would be, but I bet it’s somewhere around 444%.
THE LAST WORD
In terms of the hotels on the old Peninsula, I’d rank MGM pretty far behind the Wynn Macau and Grand Lisboa, which is one reason I’ve never stayed there and have no plans to ever do so. The casino, on the other hand, is top notch, particularly notable for its good assortment of Western games and Craps table, the only place you can play it outside of Cotai.
MGM MACAU LOCATION
MGM is located directly behind the Wynn Macau, right beside the One Central Mall and lavish Mandarin Oriental hotel.