Wynn lines up Mexican partner
By Paul
Casino and hotel magnate Steve Wynn has lined up a business partner in Mexico with an eye on the impending legalisation of gambling in that country.

Wynn plans to go to Mexico in January to scout locations. His prospective business partner is Alberto Santos, a wealthy Mexican businessman and former senator.

Besides his casino/hotel developments in Nevada and Macau and his interest in Mexico, Wynn has also recently explored gambling opportunities in Maryland.

Wynn expects that the final version of a bill legalizing gambling won't permit casinos in most areas, including Mexico City, but would reserve them for tourist areas such as Acapulco, Tijuana, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.

Many Mexican hoteliers support the bill – which would stipulate that hotels are operated separately from the gambling halls.

The five largest parties in Mexico’s house of congress have already agreed to approve the law before Dec. 15. Most of the bills approved in commission are voted into law.

Casinos are expected to boost Mexico's tourism industry, which already brings in $8 billion a year from foreign visitors. Mexico's tourism chamber estimates that 40 casinos would generate at least $3 billion in sales and create 200,000 jobs.

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