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THE MACAU METRO MONITOR, SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

RUSSIA SIGNS GAMING DEAL WITH LAWRENCE HO macaubusiness.com

Lawrence Ho and his Russian partner, First Gambling Co of the East, received approval to develop a US$700MM casino resort in the Primorye zone located in the Far East region of Russia. Ho's partner has invested about US$70MM into the project.  Tourism officials expect between 8-12 million, primarily Asian visitors to the region annually.

SANDS AND MGM SCOUT CASINO SITES IN JAPAN AS TOKYO GETS OLYMPICS macaudailytimes.com.mo

LVS and MGM are scouting sites for casino development in Japan as confidence of gaming legalization being passed received a boost with Japan's selection to host the 2020 Olympics. Speculation is that the country's Olympic 

selection makes the development of casino resorts more attractive, as they will enhance existing entertainment and accommodation offerings, create jobs and draw about US$10BN in sales to bolster the economy.

Other operators including, Caesars and MELCO, have also shown interest in developing a casino resort in Japan should gaming become legalized.  Potential Japanese development partners include Mitsui & Co., Mitsubishi Corp., Itochu Corp, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. and Konami Corp.

SJM ALSO JOCKEYING FOR JAPANESE LICENSE macaubusiness.com

SJM chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai told Bloomberg that while the company surveyed sites for casinos on the Penghu and Kinmen islands, their preference is for developing a casino-resort in Japan – preferably in Osaka – if gambling is liberalised there later this year.

SJM TO BUY STAKE IN PLOT TO TRIPLE MACAU CASINO RESORT SIZE macaudailytimes.com.mo

SJM is finalizing the terms of the the purchase of a stake in a neighboring plot which will enable the operator to triple the size of its planned casino development on Cotai. “By combining the two pieces of land, we’ll have a bigger site to develop a full-fledged resort,” So said. 

TOKYO FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRM INVESTS IN PONTE 16 macaubusiness.com

SBI Macau, a financial services firm listed in Tokyo, exercised a five-year-old option paying HK$130MM (US$16.8MM) to take an indirect stake in casino investor Success Universe Group Ltd, which controls 49% of the Ponte 16 casino-resort. Last week, Success Universe announced that it had repurchased HK$219MM of stock from pachinko hall operator Maruhan Corp. 

CAMBODIA'S NAGACORP PLANS CASINO-RESORT IN RUSSIA macaubusiness.com

Nagacorp plans to invest US$350MM to develop a casino in Primorye located in Russia's Far East region to open sometime after 2018.  The casino resort would encompass at least 1,000 hotel rooms, 100 gaming tables, and over 500 slots. 

PROSPECTIVE HENGUIN BUYERS ENTER A ZONE OF UNCERTAINTY www.scmp.com

Land prices in Henguin have soared since plans were unveiled to transform the island into a cultural and tourism center. Sea of Dreams, the first development offered for sale, will have 1,800 units ranging from 87 to 220 square meters targeting overseas buyers as Henguin is not covered by the central government's home purchase restrictions.  First batch sales are expected to fetch HK$31,400 per square meter.

GOVT SETS DEADLINE FOR ENDING RAILYWAY DISPUTE macaubusiness.com

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io has given a contractor four weeks to resume work on the Light Rapid Transit railway on Taipa. Work on a depot and transport hub near Macau Jockey Club came to a standstill due to a dispute between Transportation Infrastructure Office and its contractor Top Builders Group Ltd.

'HIDDEN-FEE' PACKAGE TOURS BANNED FROM NEXT MONTH macaubusiness.com

Starting October 1, 2013, China will ban "zero-fee" package tours to Macau, prohibiting travel agents from arranging the tours that force tourists to shop at designated shopping centers. The ban should lead to a higher quality of visitor according to Macau Brand Enterprise Chamber of Commerce president Choi Kai Weng.

GUANGDONG STUDYING A FREE-TRADE ZONE TO INCLUDE HONG KONG AND MACAU www.scmp.com

Guangdong authorities are studying a plan to create a free-trade zone covering parts of the province, Hong Kong and Macau. The discussions, which are still in their infancy, proposed plans to bundle the new zone with three existing special development zones in Guangdong. Those zones - earmarked as pilot free-trade zones - are Qianhai in Shenzhen, Hengqin Island off Zhuhai , and Nansha in Guangzhou. If formed, the new zone would cover more than 1,000 square kilometres, making it much bigger than Shanghai's 28.78 sq km zone.