Casino News From Hong Kong and Macau

Posted on December 19th, 2009

The Online Casino King team (well some of us) are in Hong Kong at the moment, and it is interesting to experience the “recession” here in Asia, compared to the UK and Europe.

Errrrr….what recession. The Hong Kong stock exchange raised more money for companies doing IPOs than New York in 2009 (there has been a wave of Macau casino listings such as the one from the Sands Group), and the real estate market (read property) seems to be having a second bubble- a flat sold in the territory that broke the global price record per square foot earlier this year. There’s a real buzz about the place…in stark contrast to the doom and gloom back home we might add. We need to pull our socks up!

Just over the Pearl River Delta is the gleaming casino city of Macau which has had a turbulent year- granted- but now seems to be powering ahead again if any of the latest share price movements are anything to go by.

The Sands Macau- Sheldon Anderson’s foothold in the former Portuguese colony- went public on the stock exchange raising $2.5 billion. He reckons his far reaching plans for Macau are back on track after a difficult year.

Macau is barely recognizable 10 years after the former sleepy Portuguese enclave went back to Chinese rule, and the Sands man has been a major investor in the city.

The Sands Group now has been developing new casinos in  Singapore, Macau & Las Vegas and Anderson’s outlook on Macau is extremely positive over the long term. The numbers are frightening: Sixty per cent of the world’s population live within a short flight time from Macau. As well as a huge (and growing) Chinese customer base, Macau is targeting 128 million Japanese players and over 40 million Koreans.

If you want to head over to take a look, you can get a direct jet foil connection from Hong Kong International airport to the casino city. Head to the Cotai Strip for the newest casino palaces. Or, combine your trip with Hong Kong, like we are doing.

We are taking a look around here first (the HK Christmas light show in the harbour at night is incredible). Then we are going to get a high speed jet foil over to Macau in a few days time to try our luck out at the tables.

Macau’s Newest Casino
The newest casino on the block is just a 3-minute walk from the main port of entry.

Stanley Ho has just spent $190 million constructung the Casino Oceanus. There are no hotel rooms or VIP rooms for high-rollers, and no upscale restaurants. Most of the 345,000-square-foot casino is laid out with 260 gambling tables and 560 slot machines.

This is Ho beting on the Day Tripper trade from nearby Hong Kong.  We’d recommend the Cotai Strip if you are coming out on holiday, however.

So that’s Macau today. What about Macau tomorrow? Well- construction has just begun on a huge bridge linking Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai. The 6-lane, Y-shaped bridge across the Pearl River delta will be jointly built by the 3 cities over the next 6 years and will be one of China’s most advanced engineering projects. The bridge will have a total length of around thirty miles and will cost around $11 billion. So I wouldn’t bet against the city.

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