The Las Vegas Sands corporation has opened the world’s largest casino in Macao, the “Venetian”, a cool two billion euro investment. It is a replica of the American gambling giant’s hotel in Las Vegas itself, with a floorspace equivalent to three football pitches. Las Vegas Sands was the first foreign gambler allowed into China three years ago, and since its arrival Macao has exploded to become the world’s top place to lose your money.
Asian economic growth is driving a gambling boom, making building the second largest building in the world a sound investment…as long as the taxes generated outweigh the risks for the government. It is a money fountain for the people’s republic, but Beijing will keep its hands firmly on the tap.