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GAMBLING IN MACAU

 

Las Vegas loses to China’s Macau in gambling win revenues

 


 

 

BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 20, 2007

Macau, the only place in gambling-crazy China where casinos are legal, has, for the first time, beaten the casinos of the iconic Las Vegas Strip in 2006 regarding annual gaming win revenues.

And, new casino openings in 2007 should further boost Macau, the former Portuguese colony, as the gambling capital of the world.

Macau opened its doors to international gaming companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts when a gaming monopoly held by casino tycoon Stanley Ho expired in 2002.

Gaming revenues in the Chinese enclave of Macau have climbed quickly in the past four years, surging by 23% in 2006 to US $7 billion to overtake the US $6.69 billion of gaming wins revenues notched up by the Las Vegas Strip.

With six new casinos scheduled to open this year, the hype surrounding Macau is on the rise.

Las Vegas Sands is scheduled to open its huge Venetian Macao casino complex in the summer as the centrepiece of the Cotai Strip – a ‘neon alley’ of casinos, shopping centres, hotels and theatres often described as ‘Asia’s Las Vegas.’

Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands and the world’s 14th richest man, has said his company will soon be a mainly Chinese enterprise, and quipped that Las Vegas should be called ‘America’s Macau.’

Gaming revenues for the whole of Las Vegas, including areas outside the main ‘strip’ area, are still slightly higher than in Macau.

The arrival of foreign casino firms in Macau has propelled a US $24-billion construction boom as well as enormous gains in share prices for the handful of companies which offer investors a piece of the action.

 

 

 

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