Friday, August 29, 2008

Sands Wants To Build A Casino Strip In India

Source : The Business Times, August 29, 2008

(HONG KONG) Las Vegas Sands Corp, operator of Asia's biggest gambling resort, would consider spending US$12 billion to build a strip of casinos in India similar to its project in Macau, chairman Sheldon Adelson said.

'We would like to build a Cotai Strip in India,' Mr Adelson told reporters at a briefing in Macau yesterday. 'We would be happy to spend US$12 billion there' if India invites the company. India is the world's second most populous nation, behind China. Mr Adelson didn't give details of the potential investment. India now has only one legal casino, in the western state of Goa, a Portuguese colony until 1961.

Las Vegas Sands is investing more than US$15 billion building casinos in Singapore and Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal. The company and rival Wynn Resorts are vying for the casino market in Asia, where economic growth is faster than in the US and Europe.

The Cotai Strip, modelled on the Las Vegas Strip, is on reclaimed land between Macau's Coloane and Taipa Islands. Mr Adelson plans to build as many as 14 hotels there by 2013. He spoke yesterday at the opening of the Four Seasons Macao, its second property in the district. The Four Seasons will be part of a complex of hotels that will have more than one million square feet of gambling space, three million square feet of shops and almost 21,000 hotel rooms.

Mr Adelson visited India, meeting the ministers of tourism and trade, before he arrived in Macau, he said yesterday, without giving details of their discussions. -- Bloomberg

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