Gaming insights Gaming

Sands Cotai Central: gaming from the Himalayan mountains to the Pacific islands

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of World Gaming magazine.

Not content with Sands Macau, the Venetian and the Plaza, the folks over at Sands China Limited keep on rolling out amazing new properties. We take a look at the two newest gaming floors on offer in Macau, Himalaya Gaming and Pacifica Gaming, both at Sands Cotai Central.

Sands Cotai Central (SCC)

  • Located at the heart of the Cotai Strip, Macau, opposite the Venetian Macau
  • Air-conditioned air bridge between Venetian and SCC scheduled for completion late December 2012
  • Himalaya gaming floor (Himalayan theme) opened April 2012
  • Pacifica gaming floor (Polynesian theme) opened September 2012
  • For more information on SCC visit
  • For more information on the Sands Rewards Club and Gold, Ruby and Diamond membership, visit

Sands China Limited (SCL) takes pride in delivering choice to their players. The Venetian at Cotai is the biggest gaming floor in the world by number of tables and welcomes something like half a million visitors in an average week. The historic Sands Macau, with its famous lights shining out over the water, continues to welcome guests who prefer to stay on “Macau side”. And the Plaza strives to offer high rollers the very best in service and opulence.

SCL’s latest offering is Sands Cotai Central (SCC), at the center point of the Cotai Strip, and again this property is introducing a new concept to gaming in Macau. Apart from building on SCL’s already incredible shopping experience at Venetian and offering a myriad of dining and accommodation options, Sands Cotai Central has two convenient gaming floors: the Himalayan-themed Himalaya and the Polynesian-themed Pacifica.

Many visitors to Macau who bring their families find it difficult to navigate some properties in a way that avoids the gaming floor. This is not a problem at Sands Cotai Central. Walkways have been expertly designed so the younger generation can move freely through the complex without being exposed to casino gaming.

As well as being family-friendly, both SCC gaming floors have a certain comfortable feel about them. Sometimes players are in the mood for the scale and grandeur of a property like the Venetian, but at other times it is nice to hunker down in a more intimate space for your gaming experience. With the two floors’ combined area exceeding 27,500 square meters, you would never use the world “small” to describe either Himalaya or Pacifica, but in both cases players can walk to just about any part of the gaming floor in under a minute. There are a number of dining options at Pacifica that open directly onto the gaming floor, so it’s very easy to get a quick feed while you are playing. And it only takes a couple of minutes to walk from one gaming floor to the other.

Both Himalaya and Pacifica are decked out with wonderful lighting and state of the art design that offers a relaxed and fresh environment. No one knows the international gaming landscape better than SCL and they have created two new gaming spaces with a unique feel.

These are not tacky themed casinos like you might find in Las Vegas and they have some little surprises that will entertain you while you play your favorite games. At Himalaya you’ll bump into the Sands Cotai Caravan warriors, who protect the caravans of the ancient Silk Road and the treasures they hold. At Pacifica don’t be surprised to suddenly find grass-skirted entertainers treating you to their very own brand of Polynesian music and dance!

Another feature of these floors, especially Pacifica, is that new players are very well catered for. The novice player will find the friendly staff happy to help them through their gaming experience. The latest slots and e-gaming options complement a commitment to the best in traditional table games.

At SCC, you can forget the huge limits that you find in some other properties. Why not try out Pacifica’s new baccarat game where as long as you place a HK$25 bet on a pair or a tie you can bet on player or banker for as low as HK$50. These low limits are unheard of for a first-tier Macau property and imagine the atmosphere when the tie hits and everyone on the table claps with excitement and collects a big dividend. You might think that lower limit games mean a crowded floor and not being able to get a seat, but with around 350 tables and almost 2,000 slots and fully electronic table games, finding a seat shouldn’t be a problem. Bigger players are also catered for – Ruby and Diamond tier members of the Sands Rewards Club can play in one of two Ruby Rooms, one on each of the Himalaya and Pacifica gaming floors.

On top of all this, both Himalaya and Pacifica offer the hugely popular new stadium style live dealer gaming experience we have come to know and love in Macau. The first casino in Macau to adopt this style of gaming in a big way was Kampek, but the management at Sands China Ltd knows a good thing when they see it and adopted this technology at Sands Macau, the Venetian Macau and even the uber-luxurious Plaza. SCL has continued their commitment to this form of gaming by installing sizeable live dealer games at Sands Cotai Central.

These live dealer e-games offer lower limits than traditional table games, and a certain element of privacy, yet with the confidence of a live dealer using conventional playing cards on a traditional green baize table. With over 400 terminals between Himalaya and Pacifica Gaming, it shouldn’t be too hard to find yourself a seat!

There is no doubt people have been getting rich at Pacifica. Since opening in late September Pacifica has already had a promotion that gave away over HK$7 million in weekly million-dollar lucky draws and other promotions. The “Pacifica Daily Slots Challenge” promotion will continue until the end of the year, giving away a further HK$4 million. The way Sands China likes to give away money, we here at WGM wouldn’t be surprised to see yet another such promotion at SCC in the not-too-distant future.

Next time you’re in Macau and want to try something new, make sure you check out both Himalaya Gaming and Pacifica Gaming at the newest property in Macau, Sands Cotai Central.