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Macau to Learn from Las Vegas

29 September 2004

MACAU – As reported by the Scotman: "…Inside its golden chrome-panelled exterior, the Las Vegas-funded Macau Sands Casino is already changing the way the former Portuguese colony does business.

"Opened in May, Sands is the first in a long list of planned casinos and hotel resorts that supporters hope will make their city the gambling centre of Asia, if not the world.

"Reclaiming land from the South China Sea, Macau expects to have more than 30 major resort hotels by 2009, the majority built with United States backing.

"…Bringing in revenues of $373 million (£209 million) for the treasury in the first five months of this year alone - an increase of 32 per cent over the same time last year - gambling remains the primary source of income for the government. The feeling now is that the city needs to diversify its economic base.

"…In effect aiming to mirror the success of The Strip, which 20 years ago was only famous for its casinos, Macau hopes to use Las Vegas know-how to reposition itself as a destination for families, business conventions, sightseeing and shopping.

"With a Disneyland due to open in Hong Kong next year and regulations regarding individual travel from mainland China being relaxed, all indicators are pointing to an explosion in traveller numbers…"

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