MGM Mirage Begins a Major $1 Billion Hotel-Casino in Macau

LAS VEGAS -- MGM Mirage said Wednesday its MGM Grand Paradise partnership has begun construction on a $975 million (EUR 797 million) hotel-casino in the Chinese gaming enclave of Macau.

Located on a waterfront site, the 28-floor hotel-casino will be jointly owned and operated by Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage and Chinese businesswoman Pansy Ho Chiu-king. She is the daughter of Hong Kong tycoon Stanley Ho, who had held a four-decade gambling monopoly in Macau.

Terry Lanni, MGM Mirage chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that recent expansion of the Asian gambling market reinforced the company's decision to develop the 600-room MGM Grand Macau. It is expected to open in the second half of 2007.

The MGM Mirage Macau will include several restaurants, entertainment venues and a casino with space for 300 table games and 1,000 slot machines.

The property is near the Lisboa hotel-casino and another hotel-casino being built by Wynn Resorts Ltd. The Las Vegas Sands Corp., operator of the Sands Macau, also plans to expand its property and develop a Macau Venetian casino.

Macau, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of Hong Kong, is a former Portuguese colony returned to Chinese rule in 1999. It is projected to reap more than $5 billion (EUR 4 billion) in gambling revenue by catering to affluent mainland Chinese, which could push it past Las Vegas this year as the world's biggest gambling market.