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Packer and Ho open Crown Macau Casino

Australia's richest man James Packer and Lawrence Ho, the son of the billionaire Stanley Ho, are set to open their first casino in Macau on the 9th of this month.

Packer and Ho open Crown Macau CasinoThe Crown Casino is built by Melco PBL Entertainment (NASDAQ:MPEL), a joint venture between the to rich man, and did cost $500 million. Melco PBL is also planning to open a $2.1 billion underwater casino called "City of Dreams" and already looks ahead for a third one. Melco PBL raised $1.4 billion in last year's IPO.

Although Melco PBL is already operating small slot-machine clubs throughout Macau, those were targeting mostly local residents, and the Crown Casino will be the first real test of the company's possibilities and abilities in the gambling market, on much bigger scale.

The decaying infrastructure of Macau could, however, make it for a pretty rough ride, as the Crown Casino is located quite far from the "strip" - Stanley Ho, Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. built their casinos within walking distance of each other on the Macau Peninsula. It takes about half an hour to reach the Crown Casino from any other gambling house. Melco PBL's management claims an advantage, as it would provide more relaxing and secluded atmosphere for the high rollers.

Crown Macau Casino is also much smaller than the rest of the casinos - it has 216 rooms and 220 gaming tables, while most casinos in Macau have three times those numbers.

Other casinos in Macau do not feel threatened by the Crown. Las Vegas Sands executive vice-president Brad Stone was quoted saying "We really don't take Crown and its location and its product very seriously."

Currently there are 25 casinos operating in Macau, which is the only part of China with legal gambling.


Related news:

 The second Singapore casino gets the green light
 MGM Mirage to build two new casinos



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