Issue 86
April 30 - May 6, 2002
Volume 3
page 2
 

(...Continued from page 1)
Macau Bets Future on China, Asian High Rollers

GAMBLING MAD

High-rollers from China and Taiwan do not bat an eyelid dropping more than $1.3 million each time they visit Macau, said a source in the casino industry.

The same can be said of Chinese gamblers in other parts of the world.

"We haven't even seen the real power of the Chinese gambling streak yet," said one tour operator who arranges trips to Las Vegas for some of Southeast Asia's wealthiest ethnic Chinese.

"Basically all Chinese have the gambling gene."

For gamblers used to the relative calm of Las Vegas, the feeding frenzy in Macau can be a bit of a shock.

Crowds three or four deep jostle at blackjack tables. Gamblers pick up their cards and bend them tightly, a no-no in Las Vegas, before slowly peeking at what lady luck has brought.

Having a seat at the table does not mean you will get to play the hand you are dealt. Spectators can place bets on any position at the table. The gambler with the biggest bet controls the hand.

It is not uncommon for one player to control every hand on the table.

Really high-rollers prefer to place their bets in quieter private gambling rooms, usually trying their luck at baccarat.

Unlike Vegas, it is all gambling. No scantily clad waitresses bring clients free drinks and there are no circuses or shows.

HEY, BIG SPENDERS

An entire industry has sprung up catering to the Asian gambling craze. Many are getting rich just getting the rich to the casinos.

A phone call to a gambling tour operator from a high-roller triggers a mobilization of military-like precision. First-class plane tickets are delivered and the best hotel suite and even favorite home dishes are prepared -- all on the house, one tour operator told Reuters.

"It's hard to say how much they spend, a million (U.S.) dollars would be accurate. Some spend it over a few days, some in a few minutes," the tour operator said.

"You get female company if you want, they line it up for you, everything you want you get. If they classify you as the highest of top rollers, the sky's the limit," said one high-roller.

Vegas and Australia are the top picks for many Asian gamblers, he said. Casinos there are seen as more glamorous and exciting than in Macau.

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They also offer entertainment for the whole family.

Macau, on the other hand, is packed with saunas, massage parlors and karaoke lounges largely catering to single men. After sundown, Eastern European prostitutes line the blocks near some of the bigger gambling halls.

"Many of the high rollers from Asia won't go to Macau because it doesn't have the best reputation," Zeman said.

In a bid to revitalize its image, Macau recently asked gaming companies worldwide to bid on new casino concessions.

Wynn and Adelson are only too aware of the enormous potential of Asian customers.

Among their plans to makeover Macau's casino scene is Adelson's vision of an indoor version of Venice's Grand Canal, complete with singing gondoliers.

"The thing about Macau is to make it like Las Vegas, where you can have adults and children, a place for the family, for high rollers, for economy and business class people," Zeman said.

"Macau needs to be cleaned up and taken to the next level. "That's the only way it will ever make the transition from where it is today to the Las Vegas of Asia."


Korean Government Supports Net Gaming Industry - SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication said it would help fund and support the online gaming industry.

The Korean government has earmarked $14 million in support of the nation's growing Internet gaming industry. $11 million will be used for the further development of Net gaming technologies, including 3-D game engines, while an additional $3 million will support the training of online game specialists, a project to combat online game addiction and industry regulatory support. "The ministry is seeking to develop the game industry as one of the nation's top strategic industries," it said in a statement.

Korea is already among the top developers of online games, software and services globally. A study in 2001 by Ipsos-Reid predicted that by this year, eight in 10 Internet users 12 to 24 years old in South Korea would have tried online games at least once.

Peru's Congress Passes Bill To Ban Casinos In 2005 - LIMA - Peru's Congress approved a law to ban casinos in Peru after legislators decided casinos were encouraging gambling and weren’t providing tax revenue. The law, passed by a 35-33 vote, will go into effect on Jan 1, 2005. "We discovered that slot machine houses and informal casinos weren’t paying any taxes and that formal casinos would pay just 50 percent of them," says Jorge Mufarech, Possible Peru party member. Casinos, previously banned in the 1970s and 1980s, received authorization to operate under the administration of former president Alberto Fujimori in the early 1990s. Hundreds of Peru casinos will close their doors by 2005.

Brooks and Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, Gary Allan, Trick Pony, Chris Cagle

Brooks and Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, Gary Allan, Trick Pony, Chris Cagle will perform at the Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand Hotel Casino on May 10.

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Showtime: 4:00 p.m.

Reservations: Reservations Recommended

For more information please call: (800) 646-7787
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