Macau enjoys the advantages it gets from its special status resulting from its colonial pasts, including less strict approach to gambling than Chinese gambling laws. The ex Portuguese colony attracts high-profile Chinese tourists and gamblers as well as foreigners from all parts of the world, and is considered to be one of the biggest gambling hubs on the Globe.
Macau already boasts Cotai, the city’s strip with possibly the biggest density of land and online casinos in China. Many players and investors, including Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment think that the city could use some more gambling spots.
Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest in the Macao Studio City project. The project was launched to build a five-star hotel and film facilities, has the government’s approval. However, according to sources, there was not a single word of mention about casinos or other gambling facilities in the original project description.
As the latest revised version of the government contract was published last week, it was clear that Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. does not have permission to build a casino at the Macao Studio City project. However, the company’s earlier statements said they plan to open 400 gambling tables at the area of the project.
According to Macau legislation and rules, the government can also later agree to let the casino building commence, but uncertainty is never good when it comes to financing a project. Melco Crown already operates two casino-resorts in Macau, and is one of six casino license holders in the special administrative region.
Melco Crown also teamed up recently with property developer Belle Corp. from the Philippines to create a high-profile casino resort. The $1 billion project is planned to be Manila’s version of the Las Vegas Strip. We’re sure that project will give us several major stories in the Chinese gambling news.