(FT) It is a Saturday night in peak season August at Apex, an elite club in China’s only legal gambling region. The entertainment is baccarat, a luck-driven card game that takes five minutes to learn and fewer than 30 seconds to play, with a HK$10,000 ($1,300) per hand minimum.
But the invitation-only game on the 39th floor of the Conrad hotel on the Cotai Strip in Macau is eerily quiet. Seven of the 10 tables are empty. One man is loudly betting 10 chips at a time, but most play just one. Nobody glances at the line of slot machines or the one roulette table. Bored staff outnumber guests by three to one.Macau-morphs-from-gambling-haven-to-family-friendly-zone-FT