Galaxy Macau, China Expands To 2nd Phase

In a move that is worth $2.1 billion (16 billion Hong Kong dollars), Hong Kong based Galaxy Entertainment Group, which already has a lead in the market with $12 billion, plans to expand its Galaxy Macau gambling complex situated in Cotai district, which will add 500 gambling tables, 1000 slot machines, 2 new hotels, more restaurants and shops, bringing the total floor space at the casino to 1 million square meters (10,763 sq. ft). The Macau casino currently occupies 25% of the allotted space and the new casinos will double its size. Macau is said to be worlds biggest gambling market.

Work on the 2nd phase of the casino has begun already and expansion is expected to end in 2015. The project will be completely funded by the group and shares will not be issued to the public.

The move was made public 2 weeks after Sheldon Adleson opened the Sands Cotai Central casino, a short distance away from Galaxy Macau. It also comes in light of the end of the Chinese governments’ stronghold over gambling in the country which it relinquished in 2002. The move let in other gambling giants like MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Macau saw a 42% increase in gambling revenues to $33.5 billion last year, which is 5 times the revenue that casinos on the Las Vegas strip make, and more recently, a 27% increase 3 months into 2012.

Macau’s main source of income is from high rollers from Mainland China. The government intends to expand its source of income by creating non-gambling attractions to attract more people who are just looking for a vacation, Galaxy Chairman Lui Che-woo was reported saying. Macau already has an artificial beach and a wave pool.

The expansion will also benefit other casinos in Cotai who will see visitors pouring in for shopping and other attractions that are absent in the Macau peninsula, experts feel. This will also need improvements in transportation facilities to and from mainland China and Hong Kong which will boost the mass market.

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