Macao To Go Vegas
By Earl
A story in Business Week magazine reports how the Chinese government, which took over the former Portuguese colony of Macao, near Hong Kong, in 1999, is now taking over its stigmatized gambling industry. Having curbed gunfights between rival triad organized crime groups, the city’s eleven casinos remain the domain of the triads, whose loan-sharking and other crime activities remain lucrative. The anticipated clean-up began with the government licensing, in February, of planned, new casinos, to Sheldon G. Adelson and Stephen A. Wynn, Vegas mega businessmen.

“We are going to transform Macao,” says Adelson, who owns the $1.2 billion Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas. “We want it to be known not just as a gambling resort but as an Asian Las Vegas.” Adelson and partners have promised to invest more than $1 billion in “a convention center, an arena, and as many as five hotels including one modelled after the Venetian [in Las Vegas],” Business Week reports.

Adelson is about to begin construction of a small casino which will be called the Las Vegas Sands, Inc., a start-off project which should open in late 2003.

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