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Ho's Son Bets on Chinese Customers

23 August 2005

CHINA – As reported by the Singapore Business Times: "Lawrence Ho, son of gaming billionaire Stanley Ho, is betting that his understanding of Chinese gamblers will help a planned HK$8 billion (S$1.7 billion) underwater casino fend off new entrants in Macau such as Las Vegas Sands Corp.

"'Macau is China's domestic market,' said Mr Lawrence Ho, managing director at Melco International Development Ltd, which builds the casino. Vegas operators 'don't care if you are Chinese, Indian, European, you are supposed to go to the buffet'.

"The planned City of Dreams will be the family's first effort to gain a share of the growing market of tourists that spend less than US$100,000 a visit, compared with the US$1 million-a-trip high rollers that are the mainstay of Mr Stanley Ho's 13 casinos.

"The new resort, featuring an acrylic-and-glass gambling hall from which guests can view marine life, will vie with the neighbouring US$1.8 billion Venetian from Sands, a resort eight times the size, as well as at least eight other casinos being built to attract tourists to the city.

"…Mr Lawrence Ho said his knowledge of Chinese gaming and cultural mores may help him snare a new group of middle-class mainland gamblers…"

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