Macau OKs Land for City of Dreams Resort - Thursday 12th of May 2005

The battle for casino supremacy in Macau has moved to a new frontier. The Macau government has tentatively agreed to grant land for the "City of Dreams" resort, featuring an underwater casino hall with a capacity of 450 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines, one of its developers, Melco International Development Ltd. said in a statement. The hall "will be surrounded by water and marine life," Melco Group Managing Director Lawrence Ho said in the statement.

The $1 billion project also will house deluxe service apartment blocks, 2,000 hotel rooms, a shopping mall and a 4,000-seat performance hall over about 5 million square feet in floor space.The resort will be on Cotai strip, which developers hope to fashion as Macau's answer to the Las Vegas Strip, the statement said. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2005 and the complex has a target opening date of mid-2008.Steve Wynn is also building a casino in Macau. He just opened his $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas last month.

Macau is expected to surpass Las Vegas as the world's biggest gambling market in 2005, with the territory's casinos projected to bring in more than $5 billion in gambling revenue as newly affluent mainland Chinese flood to Macau to gamble.About 40 miles west of Hong Kong, former Portuguese colony Macau returned to Chinese rule in 1999.

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