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Bets are off for Macau gambling boom

5 January 2009

MACAU -- As reported by the BBC: "Macau's landscape shows the far reach of human ambition - land reclamations have joined up the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to make a gambling and shopping sprawl called the Cotai Strip.

"Flashy casinos and garish hotels tower over what was once a sleepy trading town at the mouth of south China's Pearl River Delta.

"But now some of those towers stand half-finished, the sound of building work has gone. Only dust and concrete remain.

"The thousands of construction workers who poured over the border into the territory from China every day now have much less to come for.

"The US-based Las Vegas Sands group has halted construction of five new hotels, huge shopping centres and several new casinos.

"About 10,000 foreign workers and 2,000 workers from Macau have lost their jobs so far.

"...A member of Macau's Legislative Assembly, Jose Coutinho, believes the workers are paying the price for the developers' overweening ambition.

"...Managers of the Venetian hotel and casino complex in Macau blame the global credit crunch for their difficulties.

"...Some have also blamed China, for turning the tap off on the seemingly unlimited supply of gamblers from the mainland..."

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