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Gamblers Swamp Macau

21 May 2004

MACAU – As reported by Bloomberg: "Manuel Joaquim das Neves, Macau's Gaming Control Board director, is struggling with numbers.

"He has a four-page list of new gambling rules that need to be passed and a stack of plans for as many as 24 new casinos.

"Then there are 3.75 million tourists, more than half from China, who visited in the first quarter - a 25 per cent increase over last year.

"…'Last year, if someone told me that growth would be so fast, I wouldn't have believed them,' said das Neves, 44.

"…'They've only scratched the surface of the demand,' said Marc Falcone, 31, managing director and analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.

"'Macau can grow revenue 25 per cent a year over the next five years.'

"Gaming was the main attraction for the record 11.9 million tourists who visited last year…"

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