Sun, Dec 19, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Move over Las Vegas, Macau is taking over

WINNER As casinos bring in over 40 percent of the territory's GDP, Macau is expected to overtake Las Vegas as the city with the highest returns made from gambling by next year

AFP , MACAU

The number of Chinese tourists has tripled in the past four years from 2.9 million in 2000 to nearly eight million in the 10 first months of this year.

And they spend 2,820 patacas a day, according to figures for the second trimester of this year, compared to less than 900 for visitors from Hong Kong and 300 for Europeans.

"You will not find anyone here who will tell you that it was better before [the handover]," said Paulo Azevedo, editor in chief of the Portuguese-language daily Ponto Final.

But will the Macau miracle last?

"Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan also want their own casinos. It's only a matter of time," McCartney said.

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