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Casino companies join push to diversify Macau

Macau’s six licensed casino operators appear to be to jumping on the bandwagon to help China diversify the gaming hub’s economy towards entertainment pursuits other than gambling.

Following President Xi Jinping’s warning that Macau needs to have activities that do not center around betting, the companies’ move is a sound one, said an analyst.

"We believe it's in the very best interests of the concession holders to demonstrate to the government the significant investment they are making to help diversify the economy towards other forms of entertainment such as theater and cultural activities," Aaron Fischer, an analyst at CLSA in Hong Kong, told Reuters.

"These investments should translate into approval for around 400 gaming tables...reasonable considering the capital expenditure investment of between US$2.5-4 billion being made by each of the operators," said Fischer.

Galaxy's Broadway property due to open this year will house a 3,000-seat theater, while Melco Crown is expected to open a movie-themed Studio City featuring a 5,000 seat concert hall and ferris wheel.

Gambling accounts for 95 percent of Macau’s total revenue, more than double that of Las Vegas.


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