Macao's Melco International Development Ltd and Australia's Publishing and Broadcasting Group (PBL) are to invest 8 bln Hong Kong dollars in building a world-class undersea casino in Macao, announced CEO of Melco Lawrence Ho on May 15, 2005. This move will undoubtedly make the competition in Macao's gambling industry fiercer.
According to Melco, the government of the Macao SAR has consented to lease 113,300 sq. meters land to Melco and PBL for construction of resorts-City of Dreams. The JV between PBL and Melco will pay 1.175 bln HK dollars for the land with market worth of 4.5 bln HK dollars.
The aggregate investment to City of Dreams is 8 bln HK dollars. Construction of the resorts will begin in the latter half this year and it will be operational in 2008. The floor space of the project amounts to 452,400 sq. meters and the undersea casino will be able to accommodate 450 gambling tables and 3,000 slot machines.
Melco's large-scale expansion serves to compete with the US-based Las Vegas Sands Corp, which announced two months ago it would join hands with seven hotel operators to create an Asian version of Las Vegas Boulevard in Macao. The CEO of Sand Corp Sheldon Adelson said the gigantic project may cost US$ 15 bln.
Sheldon Adelson became famous for his Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. In last May his Sands Macao opened in Macao. At present he is building Venetian Macao, which is scheduled to open in spring of 2007.
The gambling industry has maintained rapid growth in Asia in recent years. The revenue from legal gambling will reach US$ 24 bln by 2006, almost a two-times increase as against 2004.
By People's Daily Online