Billion to be spent for Macau gambling - Saturday 12th of March 2005

Gambling moguls such as Australia's Kerry Packer and the Las Vegas' Steve Wynn are betting on Macau becoming the next the Las Vegas.

Some $22 billion is poised to be spent during the next few years on building hotels, casinos, resorts and malls in the former Portuguese enclave that now has a population of 440,000 and is considered a special administrative region of China.

Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. has partnered with Lawrence Ho, son of Macau gambling mogul Stanley Ho, to build a $250 million, six-star hotel and casino complex scheduled to open next year, The Australian reported Monday.

Wynn Resorts, which created the famed Las Vegas casinos Mirage and Bellagio, has a $700 million resort under construction.

Some 16 million visitors to Macau helped its gambling revenues grow 40 percent to $5.1 billion last year, just behind Las Vegas's $5.3 billion, The Australian said.

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