draws the line on its casino industry - 23rd April
Macau, the world's largest gaming
hub, will rein in the booming industry by halting
the issue of new licences and freezing land allocations
for the construction of more casinos.
past years, Macau has flung its doors open to
Las Vegas gaming giants including Wynn Resorts
and the Las Vegas Sands Corp, which built the
Venetian Macau, turning it into the world's largest
Macau's chief executive, Edmund Ho, made the surprise
announcement yesterday that no land would be allocated
for the building of new casinos in the tiny enclave.
Nor would the number of casino licences be increased
from the current three.
news will be welcomed by Australian billionaire
James Packer, whose Crown casinos group has a
joint venture developing casino and hotel properties
in Macau with Melco PBL Entertainment.
already operates Crown Macau with a second casino
project, The City of Dreams, the first phase of
which is due to open by the end of March next
mounting social tensions in the enclave and perceptions
of graft linked to the gaming boom, Mr Ho said
the new policies stemmed in part from the wishes
this stage we've held some assessments and discussions
and followed the Central Government's (Beijing's)
directives on the gaming industry and decided
to take these policy measures," Mr Ho told
at present has three casino licences and three
casino sub-licences, which allow six companies
to operate 29 casinos, with some observers saying
a consolidation of the gaming industry is now
might be a possibility of the smaller casinos
merging into the bigger casinos," said Larry
So, a Macau academic and political commentator.
"We may see some of the smaller ones close
boom has had a dark side, spawning anti-government
protests at a growing wealth gap and perceptions
of endemic graft.
and Casino News