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Macau Poised to Overtake Las Vegas as Gaming Capital of the World

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 5th April 2006 11:45pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0

   

The Washington Post has a fabulous article on the gambling BOOOOOOM in Macau. Most notable is MGMMirage honcho Terry Lanni's comments about Asian gamblers:

"The proclivity of Asian people to gamble is pretty staggering," said Terry Lanni, chief executive of MGM Mirage, whose $1.1 billion, 600-room MGM Grand Macao is slated to open late in 2007. "People borrow from loan sharks and gamble with it."

A lovely way to run a business... Let's build a bunch of casinos until the entire country is endebted to loan sharks. Wonder what the folks at MGMMirage say about YOU when you're not listening. Here's an excerpt of the article:

In years past, Raymond Wong laid his chips on the worn-out felt of the baccarat tables at the Lisboa casino, a windowless space that epitomized the seedy reputation of this gambling enclave in southern China. Cigarette smoke hovered over throngs jostling for spots at the tables. Prostitutes trawled the hallways.

The same companies that erected many of Las Vegas's more prominent resort casinos are now investing billions of dollars in Macau, a former Portuguese enclave on the Chinese coast.

"The air [in the new casinos] is better, and the furnishings are all new," said Wong, 55, who rides the ferry from Hong Kong once or twice a month. "This is something fresh."

Already, though, the market is huge. Macau's gambling revenue nearly tripled to $5.8 billion last year from $2 billion in 2000, according to the local government, pulling nearly even with the world's most lucrative gambling center, the Las Vegas Strip, which last year took in $6 billion, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. "The proclivity of Asian people to gamble is pretty staggering," said Terry Lanni, chief executive of MGM Mirage, whose $1.1 billion, 600-room MGM Grand Macao is slated to open late in 2007. "People borrow from loan sharks and gamble with it."



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