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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #181
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City of Dreams by 2233445566 from skyscrapers.cn :















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Old March 14th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #182
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Guangdong-Macao cooperative pact to push forward diversification of Macao's econ

MACAO, Mar. 6 (Xinhua) -- Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Guangdong Province signed a framework agreement on cooperation Sunday in Beijing, a step that Macao's analysts said would bring new opportunities for the city's diversified development.

Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua and Macao SAR Chief Executive Chui Sai On signed the document on behalf of their respective governments.

The agreement, consisting of eight chapters and 38 clauses, sets the orientations, principles and targets regarding a wide range of issues in economic, social, welfare and cultural fields. Under the framework, the two areas will work together to develop the Hengqin Island and the Guangdong-Macao Cooperative Industrial Garden.

The agreement will help further expand cooperative fields between Macao and Guangdong, Chui said in the address at the signing ceremony, adding that Macao SAR government decides to set up an inter-department working group to make sure the cooperative agreement be fully carry out.

Xiao Zhiwei, Chief of Council for Macao DevelopmentStrategy Research Center, believed that cooperation of the two sides on development of Hengqin Island will provide vast opportunities for local enterprises.

Being the only place in China where gambling is legal, Macao witnessed spiraling growth of the gaming industry since 2002 and its highest monthly gaming revenues record has been broken again and again due to increasing influx of visitors. In February, the total revenues of Macao's gaming sector rose to a record-high 19. 86 billion patacas (2.48 billion U.S. dollars).

To lessen Macao's overwhelming reliance on gambling, which contributes more than 70 percent of the government's revenues, Macao SAR government vowed to "appropriately diversify" the city's economy.

Xiao pointed out that due to restriction of local market scale and land resources, Macao's small and medium sized enterprises has been in a inferior position for a long time.

If SAR government takes the initiative and encourages them to take part in development of Hengqin Island, as indicated in the cooperative agreement, Macao's enterprises will gradually overcome their weakness and brace for bright opportunity from regional cooperation, according to Xiao.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 11:31 AM   #183
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Galaxy confident cash will flow at new Macau casino

HONG KONG, March 10 (Reuters) - Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group is confident of hitting its target returns with the launch of its new casino, as the overall market continues to grow this year.

One of six companies licensed to operate casinos in the world's largest gaming market, Galaxy's new HK$15 billion ($1.9 billion Galaxy Macau resort is expected to be the only new casino to open in the former Portuguese enclave this year.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Drake said he expected percentage returns to be in the mid to high teens and that on an EBITDA basis the operator will be strongly cashflow-positive.

"We are quite confident that even though the projected growth rate (for the Macau market) is in the 20 percent range, that translates into absolute dollars of $50 billion of growth. That is a lot to spread among one market," Drake told a media briefing.

Galaxy's Hong Kong-listed shares, about 20 percent owned by European private equity firm Permira, have nearly tripled in value over the past 12 months, outperforming casino magnate Sheldon Adelson's Sands China Ltd , Steve Wynn's Wynn Macau Ltd , and Macau tycoon Stanley Ho's SJM Holdings Ltd .

Eleven out of seventeen analysts covering the stock have a "strong buy" or "buy rating, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine and the firm is expected to report annual results later this month.

Macau, the only Chinese territory that permits casino gambling, has transformed in recent years from a sleepy outpost on the South China sea into a pulsating maze of neon lights and Galaxy already has five casinos there.

"Sure, our market share will increase, but at the same time we are not as focused on market share as on driving profitable volume," said Drake.

Galaxy, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Lui Che Woo, said earlier on Thursday it will open the new 550,000 square metre Galaxy Macau on May 15, with the timing roughly in line with analysts' expectations.

The company said it has no immediate plans to issue more renminbi debt after its debut as the first high-yield issuer to sell renminbi bonds in Hong Kong.

"We are fully funded and have been for quite some time," said Drake.

The new resort, described by Galaxy as "Asian-centric" will have a sky-top wave pool and a nine-screen multi-purpose cinema.

Analysts said the opening was unlikely to take significant market share from other operators, with SJM expected to continue to dominate the market despite an ongoing public spat between the octogenarian and his extended family.

"I think for the first three or four months, first-timers will want to get in there and try it out. I think that is where the major impact is going to be," said RBS analyst Philip Tulk in Hong Kong. "I feel that all operators to some degree will feel the impact for the first few months."

Singapore-listed Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd and Japan's Okura Hotels and Resorts will take about a third of Galaxy Macau's hotel rooms, with the gaming company holding the remaining 1,500 rooms.

The new casino will have 450 tables, and if demand is adequate Galaxy will ask the Macau government to increase its allowance, Francis Lui, vice chairman told reporters.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 11:47 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
City of Dreams by 2233445566 from skyscrapers.cn :















wow a lovely interior and exterior architecture
Love It
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #185
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Sands China: Macau Hotel Management Deal With Shangri-La Terminated
24 March 2011

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Casino operator Sands China Ltd. (1928.HK) said Thursday it has terminated a hotel-management agreement with Shangri-La Asia Ltd. (0069.HK) at a new Macau casino resort development that is due to open at the end of this year.

The Hong Kong-listed unit of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) didn't say why the agreement was terminated in a brief statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, but said the decision was agreed upon by both companies.

Sands China said it has already begun talks with another international hotel brand with a "comparable sales and marketing network and customer base."

The Shangri-La hotel was to be part of Sands China's newest resort project in Macau's lucrative Cotai area, known as sites 5&6, whose construction has been plagued by months of delays because of a government-imposed labor shortage.

The US$4.1 billion project will also include the world's biggest casino.

Sands China, which already operates the Venetian and Plaza casino resorts on Cotai, said it remains committed to opening the first phase of sites 5&6 at the end of this year.

It said its management agreements with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT) to run hotels in the new development under the Sheraton and St. Regis brands remain in place.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 06:17 PM   #186
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Another new casino on the Cotai Strip by alan_wong710 from a Hong Kong photography forum :

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Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:32 PM   #187
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A little more info added to the prior article posted on this topic :

Sands China In Talks With InterContinental To Manage Cotai Hotels -Source
24 March 2011

HONG KONG - (Dow Jones)- Sands China Ltd. (1928.HK) is in talks with InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) to manage two hotel towers at its over-US$4 billion expansion project in Macau's Cotai area, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. unit said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange it had terminated a hotel-management agreement with Shangri-La Asia Ltd. (0069.HK) to operate the hotels.

The statement also said the casino operator had already begun talks with another unnamed international hotel brand with a "comparable sales and marketing network and customer base."

The statement from Sands China didn't say why the agreement was terminated but said the decision was agreed upon by both companies and that it had been resolved in an amicable manner.

Another person familiar with the situation said Shangri-La wasn't in favor of Sands China's plan to open the long-delayed project in phases and that the hotelier preferred to have all of the hotel rooms opened at the same time and turned over to them for management. The person said Shangri-La was worried its brand could be hurt if preparatory work were being carried out in rooms near where guests were staying.

Shangri-La's director of corporate communications Maria Kuhn said the reason the agreement was terminated was "the current status of the hotel developments." She also said the original contract for the hotels, which would have operated under the Shangri-La and Traders brands, was signed in late 2005 and that the agreement was terminated by mutual consent Tuesday.

InterContinental Hotels Group couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #188
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Macau gambling revenues surge 48pc in 'quiet' month of March
2 April 2011
SCMP

Macau casino revenue broke through 20 billion patacas for the first time last month as gambling volumes in the city continue to gather momentum.

The new mark represented a record for the second consecutive month, soaring 48 per cent from a year ago to 20.09 billion patacas and surpassing February's 19.86 billion patacas, data released yesterday by the Macao Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau show.

In the first three months of the year, Macau's casinos have recorded 58.52 billion patacas in revenue, a 43 per cent increase from the same period a year ago. That puts Macau on track to add revenue equivalent to one Las Vegas Strip this year.

"Clearly no negative impact was felt as a result of the events in Japan during the month," Union Gaming Group analyst Bill Lerner wrote yesterday in a research note.

Lerner forecast Macau's full-year casino revenue would grow 25-30 per cent this year to as much as 245 billion patacas, or slightly more than US$30 billion.

That would be on par with 2009 gaming revenues from all commercial casinos in the United States, according to American Gaming Association figures.

Last year, the Las Vegas Strip booked US$5.78 billion in casino revenue while the state of Nevada recorded US$10.4 billion, according to data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Macau's March windfall is all the more remarkable given that it came during a seasonally soft month.

Casinos typically take a breather in March and April between the twin "golden week" holidays of Lunar New Year (which occurred in February this year) and May Day.

The growth continues to be driven by surging high-stakes gambling volumes as high rollers from the mainland with abundant credit test their luck on the baccarat tables.

In the first two months of the year, casino revenue rose 40 per cent to 38.43 billion patacas. However, visitor arrivals to Macau grew by only 3.3 per cent to 4.24 million people, while arrivals of mainland visitors increased only 6.5 per cent to 2.42 million.

Macau's casino revenues have continued to boom despite efforts by the local government to rein-in development of the sector, including restrictions on the number of gaming tables that can operate in the city and limiting the number of foreign construction and other workers that gaming firms can import.

The growth has boosted shares in most Macau casino operators to double-digit gains in the year to date. Success is already priced into the shares in most cases. The sector trades at 16 to 62 times this year's forecast earnings, compared with 12.8 times for the Hang Seng Index.

Only one new casino is set to open in Macau this year, the HK$15.5 billion, 2,260-room Galaxy Macau on the Cotai strip.

The property is set to open on May 15 with 450 gaming tables and 7,600 staff. It features a 1,500-room Galaxy-branded hotel (700 rooms will be ready on opening day), a 260-room Banyan Tree hotel, and a 500-room Hotel Okura.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #189
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Gambling firm sees new Macau store as good bet
The Standard
Friday, April 08, 2011

Success Universe (0487) plans to open a Sogo-like department store at its Macau casino-entertainment resort Ponte 16.

The new shopping destination will be located at the 400,000-square-foot mall - an extension of Ponte 16 - tipped to be finished at the end of 2012.

"We think Japanese-style department stores run better than their peers and we are in talks with some operators," deputy chairman Hoffman Ma Ho-man said. The department store will be Macau's second after New Yaohan.

The gaming firm has earmarked HK$270 million as land premium and the construction fee of HK$800 million is expected to be shared with project development partner SJM (0880). Success Universe holds a 49 percent stake in the extension project.

Part of the extension will be used for the casino, where Ma expects the number of gaming tables to surge to 150 from the current 109 by 2013.

Meanwhile, the firm plans to develop a lottery business via mobile networks with mainland operators.

Ma said Success hopes to develop the lottery business - yet to be officially approved - online.

Net losses for the company narrowed 53.5 percent to HK$80.8 million in 2010, and loss per share was cut to 3.31 HK cents from 7.13 HK cents in 2009. Turnover rose 20 percent to HK$1.44 billion. No dividend was recommended.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization have largely improved, Ma added. "We are outperforming our peers. There's 30 percent year-on-year growth in Macau's total gaming income in January, while we grew 60 percent."

Macau's gaming income soared 48 percent in March. The 408 rooms at the Ponte 16 hotel are 70 percent booked for the May 1 Golden Week, even though room rates have gone up 6-10 percent to HK$1,500-HK$1,800 per night. The hotel was fully booked during the Lunar New Year.

Success Universe shares jumped 16.67 percent to HK$0.63. SJM rose 4.7 percent to HK$15.92.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #190
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Over 7,000 public housing units sold to private property market
15/04/2011 09:51:00 by Natalie Leung
Macau Daily Times
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The Government revealed to lawmakers yesterday that about 30 percent of the 24,000 affordable housing units that were sold to local residents since 1985 have already entered the private property market.

The Third Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly continued deliberation of the draft bill of the affordable housing construction and sale system.

President of the committee, Cheang Chi Keong, told reporters after the meeting that according to statistics provided by officials, the Government sold 24,000 public housing flats to Macau residents between 1985 up to the end of 2010.

Around 23,000 units had passed lock-up period, which currently stands at six years and 31 percent or 7,182 units had been sold by occupants in the private property market.

Cheang said the standing committee yesterday has not yet ascertained whether 31 percent was a ‘large or small proportion’, but stressed that the data will be a significant indicator when lawmakers begin consideration of systems of sale in the draft bill at a later time.

“The government has clearly stated that the new affordable housing policy will impose tough requirements on people who wish to sell the units. Based on the figures we will think about whether the sale system will need to be further tightened,” he said.

The draft bill proposes to extend the lock-up period from 10 years to 16 years.

Cheang said that committee members also expressed concerns about certain application requirements that may contradict the intention of the legislation, to ensure that the limited resources are used for people who are ‘truly in need [of public housing]’.

According to the committee president, lawmakers will hold discussions on whether it is necessary to establish mechanisms to disallow people who own real estate outside of Macau to apply for affordable housing. Also reviewed will be the issue of occupant requirements of returning their units to the Government if a private property is purchased, and preventing the use of company names where they are the largest shareholder to purchase real estate to meet application requirements.

More measures could be announced ‘as soon as is possible’ to slow rising housing prices, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On told journalists yesterday.

Before flying to Hainan Island, where he will join the Boao Forum, Chui acknowledged that it was necessary to introduce more policies, considering the development of the property market.

The Chief Executive disclosed that he had met several times with the secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, and the secretary for Transport and Public Works, Lau Si Io.

The two secretaries are already evaluating some possible measures ‘in response to society’s expectations’, Chui said.

He called on the population to heed the Government’s advice and not rush into buying property.

The construction of 19,000 public housing units, scheduled for completion by the end of 2012, will help to balance supply and demand, the Chief Executive assured.

In the current draft bill, not only will applicants be subject to income base and ceiling, they also cannot own any property (in their name) five years prior to application.

Cheang said a thorough consideration of opinions needs to be exchanged with the Government, adding that there are many issues that require resolution if such mechanisms were to be implemented.

In addition, he said the committee has questioned the need to reserve a proportion of affordable housing units mainly for the use of resettlement for residents affected by old neighbourhood renewal projects, or people with emergency or special needs as recommended by the Social Welfare Bureau.
Even if the proposal is put forward, Cheang said these people who are given the opportunity to jump the queue, should need to pass a separate eligibility assessment or otherwise it may be unfair to other applicants on the waiting list.

The standing committee will hold the next meeting at 10.30am next Thursday.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #191
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Wynn Macau Advances After First-Quarter Profit Surges 66%

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Wynn Macau Ltd., a unit of the casino operator founded by billionaire Steven Wynn, rose in Hong Kong trading as Chinese high-stakes gamblers boosted first- quarter profit by 66 percent.

The owner of Macau’s Wynn and Encore casinos gained 1.1 percent to HK$27.35 at the close in Hong Kong trading after climbing as much as 4.8 percent to HK$28.35, the highest intraday level since it started trading in October 2009. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 1.6 percent.

The opening of a second resort in the world’s biggest gambling hub and better-than-expected winnings in Las Vegas led parent Wynn Resorts Ltd. to post a sixfold growth in first- quarter profit, beating analysts’ estimates. The company expects government permission to start building a third Macau resort “any day now,” Wynn said yesterday.

“Wynn Macau is the best proxy of Macau,” Karen Tang, a Hong Kong-based analyst for Deutsche Bank AG, wrote in a note to clients today. Its casinos offer “superior customer experiences, which lengthen play,” she said.

Wynn Macau opened Encore Macau in April 2010 in the former Portuguese colony, the world’s biggest gambling hub and the only place in China where casinos are legal.

First-quarter net income at Wynn Resorts expanded to $173.8 million from $27 million a year earlier, the Las Vegas-based company said yesterday.

Slots Revenue

Wynn Macau’s profit grew to $189.7 million from $114.3 million, it said today. VIP sales rose 45 percent to $29.3 billion, and slot-machine revenue increased 59 percent to $1.5 billion, the company said.

“This quarter, the most impressive segment was slots,” Tang said. “Wynn Macau has carved out a nice niche in the high- end slot segment in Macau.”

Gambling in the Chinese city has surged since the government ended billionaire Stanley Ho’s 40-year monopoly and allowed companies including Wynn, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International to build resorts.

Casino gambling revenue in Macau climbed 43 percent to 58.5 billion patacas ($7.3 billion) in the three months ended March as gamblers from mainland China placed more bets. Total casino revenue expanded 58 percent last year to 188.3 billion patacas or $23.5 billion, about four times that of the $5.8 billion for the Las Vegas Strip.

Chinese High Rollers

Revenue from VIP or high-stakes gamblers, who wager as much as 2 million patacas a hand, was 42.6 billion patacas, accounting for 73 percent of Macau’s total first-quarter casino gambling revenue, government data show. That’s up from 70 percent in the same period in 2010.

Most of the VIP gamblers are brought into the city by junket operators from mainland China, which doesn’t include Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Wynn is founder and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts, which owns about 72 percent of the Hong Kong-listed Macau unit.

Separately, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. posted a 71 percent increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to HK$712 million ($92 million) today, and predicted record first-half earnings on revenue from high-stakes gamblers.

Galaxy, part-owned by Permira Advisers LLP, surged 6 percent to HK$13.82 in Hong Kong trading, the highest level since it began trading in October 1991.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #192
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Old district renewal consultation
27/04/2011
Macau Daily Times

The Legislative Assembly is going to launch a public construction on the draft law of the old neighbourhood renewal legal system which will run until the end of June.

The Second Standing Committee of the legislature began discussing the bill yesterday where opinions from legal advisors were heard.

President of the committee Chan Chak Mo told reporters after the meeting that due to the “significance [of the law] and the prerequisite to protect local people’s rights to own, buy and sell property”, a consultation which is open to all members of the public will be launched on the legislature’s homepage today until June 30.

Since the draft law has proposed an arbitration mechanism, Chan said the Lawyers Association will also be consulted separately.

Meanwhile, he said the standing committee has expressed concerns about the formation of the arbitration committee and how “fairness, impartiality and transparency” can be ensured.

Under the old system it was the court that would appoint members of the committee, but now the draft law has proposed that the panel of arbitrators should be composed by representatives of the related building owners, tenants, developers involved in the reconstruction and the Government.

Lawmaker Vong Hin Fai, who was a member of the Advisory Committee for Old Neighbourhood Renewal, pointed out that the committee was mostly concerned about the compensation mechanism and the protection of private property rights.

Nevertheless, Chan Chak Mo said he expected that it will be a “long deliberation process” and at least five to six more meetings the standing committee needs to be held before Government representatives will be invited to exchange ideas with the lawmakers.

He added that there is no timetable concerning when the discussion would complete.

In February, chief of the Office for the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Wong Chan Tong, described the draft law as “one of the few most complicated laws” since the establishment of the SAR, taking five years from 2006 to 2010 and involving 148 meetings to come up with the proposal.

The Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau said earlier that it planned to launch the first ever old neighbourhood reconstruction project in the fourth quarter of this year on the land parcel in Iao Hon where social housing Shun Lei Building was previously located.

Four hundred ‘public housing-style’ units are expected to be built on the land to become a ‘transit point for temporary resettlement’ when more reconstruction projects will be carried out in other parts of Iao Hon in the future.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #193
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Galaxy of stars
The Standard
Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Be the first to check out five-star resort destination Galaxy Macau, which opens on May 15 on the Cotai Strip. The HK$15 billion resort has more than 2,200 rooms, suites and villas across three world-class hotels: Galaxy Hotel, Hotel Okura and Banyan Tree Macau.

Packages start from HK$1,688 a night and include round-trip ferry tickets or dining credits. While you're there, don't forget to check out the Grand Resort Deck, featuring the world's largest skytop wave pool with a white sandy beach and waves as high as 1.5 meters.

Website: www.galaxymacau.com
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #194
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Macau's Galaxy dazzles with $2 bln casino opening

HONG KONG, May 15 (Reuters) - Flanked by long-legged models adorned in peacock feathers, Hong Kong property and construction tycoon Lui Che Woo was all smiles as he opened the doors to his new $2 billion casino in Macau on Sunday.

Lui, chairman of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment , around 20 percent owned by private equity group Permira, is the only operator to open a casino this year in Macau, the world's largest gaming market, where revenues surpass Las Vegas four fold.

Designed as an Asian-style palace, the 550,000 square metre property is the third casino to open on the developing Cotai strip, Macau's version of the Vegas strip and which authorities hope will transform Macau from a pure gaming destination into a renowned tourist and leisure destination.

"It doesn't feel like a casino, it's so beautiful" said Wer, a 30 year old male visitor from Zhuhai. "People can come here to relax, bring their families. It feels comfortable."

Like gilded ice cream cones, Galaxy Macau's gold embossed turrets glow against the Macau skyline, magnifying the glitz of billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Venetian property and Melco Crown Entertainment's City of Dreams, all situated within walking distance of each other.

Macau, formerly a hotbed for piracy and smuggling, has been trying to upgrade its image with Michelin starred dining options and vast luxury retail outlets, all in a bid to woo China's rising middle class."

While around 70 percent of gaming revenue is still accrued from the high-rolling VIP sector, Galaxy Macau is allocating two-thirds of its 450 gaming tables to the mass market, confident of delivering returns in the mid to high teens to investors, Chief Financial Officer Robert Drake said.

Galaxy's new 2,200 room property, which incorporates international hotel brands Banyan Tree and Japan's Okura, is hoping to creating a "super industry" of gaming and tourism in the former Portuguese colony, said Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui.

"If you merge Phuket in Thailand together with Macau it would create a new dimensional kind of market. The example of Galaxy Macau is to bring this tropical mood to Macau," said Lui, also a committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

FRIENDLY COMPETITION

With its 350 ton white sand beach, simulated wave pool and southeast Asian resort-style spa facilities, Galaxy is hoping to create a niche market in the former Portuguese colony, emphasizing the health and well being of its visitors.

But it remains to be seen whether the chain-smoking hard-core gamblers that flood from into Macau from the mainland will have significant interest outside the heaving baccarat tables.

"The casino is great, I am going to come regularly," said 27 year old Edwin. Dressed in a tight white t-shirt and fitted trousers, he shrugged: "I haven't seen the pool yet, maybe later."

Galaxy Macau is following in the footsteps of rivals Melco Crown and Sands China in targeting China's mass market, betting that improving infrastructure and rising consumption will help propel demand.

"Galaxy's opening is also good for us, more people will come here," said a waiter at Adelson's Venetian. "It is exciting. We have been waiting three years for the open. It is not a threat, just friendly competition."

Galaxy shares have surged more than 300 percent over the past 12 months, compared with the Hang Seng Index's roughly 17 percent gain. Analysts remain bullish on the firm's prospects. "We think the property has potential to exceed revenue and cashflow expectations," said Union Gaming in a note.

Galaxy's new project only covers around a third of its available land space on the Cotai strip. It plans to develop the rest of its land bank over the next seven to eight years.

Wynn Macau, casino mogul Steve Wynn's Macau unit of Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and SJM Holdings are the three other licensed operators yet to start construction on the strip.

"We could build three more of these if we wanted to," Drake, Galaxy's CFO, said.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:34 AM   #195
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Galaxy
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #196
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Chinese gambling: The high-roller’s guide to the Galaxy
24 May 2011
(C) 2011 The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd.

Why does Macau have no mainland Chinese rivals?

CASINO gamblers hate two things. One is losing. The other is understated decor. There is no risk of the latter at the Galaxy, Macau’s latest shrine to excess, which opened on May 15th. Its owners, Galaxy Entertainment, a firm controlled by the family of Lui Che-woo, a Hong Kong cement magnate, claim to have slapped enough gold leaf on its fixtures to cover 87 football pitches. To recoup the $1.9 billion it cost to build the Galaxy, it will have to attract a lot of losers.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony known for gambling and other vices, was handed back to China in 1999. By this accident of history, it became the only place in the People’s Republic where casinos are legal. Stanley Ho, an ageing local tycoon, lost his monopoly over the business (though his family still controls or has fingers in roughly half of it). Glitzy Western casino operators arrived to challenge his bedraggled gambling dens with their spit-stained carpets. The Sands opened in 2004, the Wynn in 2006 and the Venetian in 2007, each fancier than its predecessor. The Galaxy tops the lot. What will come next?

Possibly not much. Granted, the Sands hopes to open an even bigger casino next year, and three out of the four other operators (Wynn, MGM and Mr Ho’s SJM) have ambitious plans. But there are new constraints. Macau’s government, perhaps at the urging of Beijing, recently capped the number of gambling tables in Macau at 5,500, approximately the current number. Another 3-4% will be allowed annually, split between all the operators. That hardly allows room for mega-projects--the Galaxy alone added 450 tables.

Perhaps the government will relent. Demand shows no sign of slacking. From December, the three-hour bus ride from Guangzhou to Macau will be replaced by a 47-minute trip on a high-speed train. Eager punters from the Chinese interior will suddenly find temptation nearer. Aaron Fischer, an analyst with CLSA, a broker, predicts that gambling revenues in Macau will rise by 35% this year, 25% next year and 20% thereafter, while the supply of new tables will rise only gradually. Fat profits beckon.

The greatest threat to Macau’s licence to print money is that the Chinese government may grow jealous. It has in the past limited the number of visas it issues for mainland visitors to Macau. And there are rumours that it may allow casinos on other patches of its territory, such as Hainan, an island province in the south. Casinos are popular, pay a lot of taxes and please well-connected developers. It would hardly be a surprise if the government in Beijing decided to grab a piece of the action.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 11:09 AM   #197
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Casino mogul Wynn says Macau rival's new resort made him rethink designs for planned expansion
17 May 2011

MACAU (AP) - Casino billionaire Steve Wynn said Tuesday that a rival's new resort in Macau has made him rethink some of the designs for a new casino his company is planning to build.

Wynn said Tuesday that he visited the Galaxy Macau at its grand opening Sunday.

"I saw a couple things at Galaxy the other day that made me take another look at some stuff I had drawn myself," Wynn told reporters. He did not give details about the designs.

The Galaxy resort has features aimed at drawing nongamblers from around Asia such as a wave pool and artificial beach and hotels run by Singapore's Banyan Tree and Japan's Okura.

Macau's government is trying to diversify its economy away from high-rolling visitors from mainland China that have helped it become the world's most lucrative gambling market.

Wynn Macau operates one hotel and casino in Macau and is waiting for government approval to build another.

Wynn has said previously that he expects it to open by 2015 and cost $2.5 billion. The casino, to be built on reclaimed swampland in the Cotai area, will include 1,500 to 1,600 hotel rooms, roughly 500 table games and 1,300 slot machines, with 12 acres left over for further expansion.

Wynn spoke in between annual general meetings of Wynn Macau Ltd. and its U.S.-based parent company Wynn Resorts Ltd. It's the first time that the meeting of the U.S. parent was held in Macau, illustrating how important Macau has become to Wynn's profits.

The former Portuguese colony's economy has surged since it broke up its casino monopoly in 2002. Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal.

"Frankly these days we think of ourselves very deeply as a Chinese company in many respects and our revenues and the rest of our financial posture clearly indicate that to be so," said Wynn. Macau accounted for about two-thirds of Wynn Resorts' $1.24 billion profit in the January-March period.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:29 PM   #198
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Model of the Cross gate district in Zuhai which is now officially under construction since March 2011. The tower is set to become the tallest tower of China when it is completed (given the condition nobody else plans something higher )

Source:
http://www.zhtv.com/hd/xinxin2009/xx...912/82871.html



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Source that construction started: http://www.byjiance.com/news/308/

Please also not the other high building on the other side of the canal!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 06:11 PM   #199
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Heritage protection hindered by lack of laws
16/07/2011
Macau Daily Times



The Association for Macau Historical and Cultural Heritage Protection has urged the government to enact comprehensive laws without further delays in order to meet international standards for heritage preservation.

The statement is consistent with the recent request from UNESCO that has called on the SAR Government to develop “appropriate legal and planning instruments” incorporating its urban planning in a bid to protect the city’s cultural heritage.

The association’s chairman Cheang Kuok Keong said since the Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 15, 2005, the “over-development of land” and the “disorderly” construction of high-rise buildings resulting from economic development have “destroyed” the city’s natural landscape and also given rise to “constant major controversies” over the protection of the cultural landscape.

The Macau Polytechnic Institute and 10 local associations co-organised a forum on the current situation and future of Macau’s intangible cultural heritage yesterday, coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the successful inscription of the Historic Centre of Macau.

Cheang referred to examples such as the Guia Lighthouse, Nam Van Lake and Sai Van Lake, Small Taipa Hill and also the Penha Hill, where high-rise construction has threatened the surrounding environment and landscape.
He pointed out that the key problem is Macau still lacks comprehensive urban planning and related legislation.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau, however, disclosed recently that the long-awaited heritage protection law will be submitted to the Executive Council shortly and it is hoped that the legislative procedure can be completed before the end of this year.

Cheang said in early as July 2003, his association had already warned that the territory’s heritage protection was facing “tremendous danger, since Macau lacks overall urban planning and is in an era where a new round of large-scale investment is being triggered by the liberalisation of the gaming industry”.

He also said under the environment of rapid economic growth, “a lot of valuable and unique heritage” was destroyed in exchange for development space and the “beautiful humanistic view is constantly being damaged”.
Macau’s cultural heritage, he stressed, is in a danger of permanent destruction caused by “short-term economic incentives”.

Meanwhile, vice-chairman of the Cultural Industry Committee, Leong Heng Teng, said in the opening speech that intangible cultural heritage is “not only a culture, but a tradition and an important cohesion” in the local community.

“Through public participation, a harmonious community relationship is formed. It is an important value of intangible cultural heritage and if this traditional culture cannot be protected properly, it will harm the traditional structure of the community to a certain extent,” Leong pointed out.

Director of the Institute of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Sun Yat-Sen University, Kang Baocheng, told reporters before delivering his keynote speech that mainland China, like Macau, is facing difficulty in finding young people to inherit intangible cultural heritage.

Kang believed that fostering “cultural successors” should begin as early as possible during childhood but the older generation has the “responsibility to look for these people”.

The mainland expert suggested the SAR Government and local associations offer financial support to encourage the young generation to learn intangible cultural heritage, such as the Drunken Dragon dance or the Cantonese Nanyin opera.

In addition, director of the South China Research Centre of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Liu Tik Sang, said the fundamental requirement for heritage conservation is that local people have “the heart” in doing so.

“If the people are proud of it [the heritage] then they will be willing to spend time on preserving it,” Liu told reporters.

The government and academic institutes also need to play a part by offering support, he added.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #200
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UNESCO slams Macau for lack of urban planning
13/07/2011
Macau Daily Times

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee urged Macau to develop appropriate legal and planning instruments to protect its cultural heritage, incorporating its urban planning.

The case was brought to public attention by the Portuguese-language newspaper Ponto Final. At this year’s meeting that took place last Thursday in Paris, UNESCO recalled a decision issued in 2009.

Macau is due to submit a report on the state of property conservation and the progress made in the implementation of legal and planning instruments, to be reviewed by the committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Despite applauding the initiatives taken by Macau towards the development of the urban plan, district plans, and a proposed law to safeguard Macau’s World Heritage, the committee “expresses its concerns at the continuing inadequacy of the current management system, the buffer zone and legal provisions, to protect effectively the very important visual and functional linkages between the inscribed monuments and the wider urban land and seascape of Macau”.

UNESCO “reiterates its request to the State Party [Macau] to develop appropriate legal and planning instruments comprising the Urban Plan as developed so far, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre when they are finalised, so that they can be assessed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies”.

Last year, the vice president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, Guo Zhan, had already warned that the world heritage historical centre of Macau was facing some difficulties. He pointed out the urgent need for new measures to be submitted at the 35th meeting of UNESCO and suggested the government extend the historical centre buffer zones in Macau and work on overall long term urban and conservation planning.
Yesterday, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) commented on the UNESCO’s decision. The bureau’s chief of special projects, Boyce Lam, said that local heritage is not in danger of being axed from the UNESCO list.

‘Cultural heritage is Macau’s invisible wealth and everything that can improve its protection is always welcomed. Macau heritage should be a top-priority’:

Nuno Jorge

Quoted by Portuguese-language channel Radio Macau, he pointed out the IC would strive to speed up the drafting of the legal instruments required by UNESCO and increase awareness. On the other hand, he said that urban planning comes within the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau’s (DSSOPT) responsibility.

Lam assured that Macau has complied with recommendations stated by the international body in 2009. However, he stressed, “UNESCO believes that more can be done in terms of the Historic Centre’s management”.

He added the IC had brought along experts from the DSSOPT to attend the meeting in Paris, so they could have better understanding of the goals of heritage conservation.

In the meantime, he continued, the international body has applauded the way Macau authorities have solved the problem of the construction of a high rise near the Guia Lighthouse. The building was expected to reach a height of 126 metres and was lowered to 52.5 metres.

Following a public controversy in 2008, the government set a maximum height limit of 90 metres around the culturally protected area of the Guia Lighthouse.

The buffer zone area was also extended from two square kilometres to 2.8 square kilometres, divided into 11 different zones, each with its own height limit depending on the proximity to the historic lighthouse.

Architects with the committee

Local architects and urban planners share different views and concerns over the state of conservation of Macau’s cultural heritage. Former president of Macau Architects Association, Nuno Roque Jorge, stressed that nothing is deemed enough to protect the local cultural heritage. However, he admitted it takes time to introduce the legal instruments required by UNESCO.

“The Cultural heritage is Macau’s invisible wealth and everything that can improve its protection is always welcome. Macau heritage should be given a top-priority,” he told the Macau Daily Times.

Real estate market speculation and other needs of the rapid development of Macau were some issues mentioned by the architect. “I understand some actions take time, but I hope some improvements can be introduced,” he said.

Urban planner Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro is in line with Jorge. However, he said the development of urban planning must include the new reclaimed areas.

“The urban planning is on hold because of public consultations, even though I think it is good to take people’s opinions into consideration. But we should wait for the reclaimed areas planning to establish a comprehensive urban planning,” he pointed out.

‘We should wait for planning of the reclaimed areas to establish a comprehensive urban plan’:

Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro

Vizeu Pinheiro and Nuno Jorge are more concerned over non-listed heritage conservation. Jorge calls on authorities to look at “external circumstances” that may have an impact on the UNESCO-listed heritage.

“When I walk down the streets between St. Paul’s Ruins and Senado Square, I see lots of traditional and small businesses closed because of increasing commercial rental prices,” he said.

He suggested that not only should heritage sites be protected, but also the experiences and life around it.

In addition, Vizeu Pinheiro said Macau should also pay attention to the heritage that is not included on the UNESCO list, such as the old firecracker factory in Taipa or some green areas in Coloane.

“Those sites and areas are endangered by real estate development,” he warned.

‘Cultural mistake’

On the contrary, president of Macau Architects Association, Ben Leong Chong In, suggests that Macau needs to strike a balance between heritage and the needs of the city development. He also believes that “the government and Macau residents will continue to spend a lot of resources to protect heritage.”

Architect Carlos Couto, who has been working in Macau for over 30 years, said the renovation of the city’s landscape is moving faster than we could ever imagine.

“It’s good to see a city expanding, but this fast economic development also brings up other issues, like the lack of balance between what’s part of the city’s heritage and what’s new,” he said.

“We still have several areas here in Macau which are part of the old landscape. They have a special charm and we must protect that. Efforts should be made to revitalise these areas and better preserve them and keep their charisma,” he added.

However, protection doesn’t mean zero building or a rejection of everything contemporary. “We shouldn’t resort to construct buildings that look old just to fit into a certain neighbourhood. Doing that would only give the idea of false replicas and create a gap between what used to be contemporary and future architecture,” said Couto.

“That is a cultural mistake,” he added.

“Today’s buildings will be the old architecture in the future,” he said, adding that Macau needs to wisely ponder about what projects are “really good” for these older districts.
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