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THE MACAU METRO MONITOR

GAMBLING “WHALE” SAYS US$110M CASINO DEBTS ARE REALLY LOANS scmp.com

Terence Watanabe, a Japanese-American gambler who lost more than US$110m in Las Vegas casinos is asking that a Las Vegas court dismiss charges against him that he defaulted on gambling debts.  He is accused of writing thirty-eight bad checks to pay debts of US$14.7m. His legal team offers two reasons why the charges should be thrown out. 

First, they allege that he was plied with alcohol and prescription drugs by the casinos while he was gambling.  Disciplinary action can be taken against casinos that allow visibly intoxicated people to gamble or supply them with alcohol.  Secondly, and more importantly for the gaming industry and how courts handle gaming debt cases, his lawyers contend that the terms of the credit agreement he signed with Harrah’s allowed him at least 60 days to repay markers – terms which made them more akin to loans and therefore he should have more leeway in paying them.  The Clark County district court has scheduled a hearing today to consider the motions filed by Mr. Watanabe.

EIGHTEEN HOTELS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN MACAU IN 2ND QUARTER macaunews.com.mo

Eighteen hotel projects were under construction in Macau at the end of the second quarter, one more than at the end of the previous quarter, according to data released by the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau.  The projects will add 22,800 guest rooms to the local hospitality industry.  Another twenty-four hotel project applications were being processed by the bureau.

MACAU PLANS EVENTS INVESTMENT citmagazine.com

Macau is investing £3.3m boost meetings after its event market grew in 2008.  The Macau Government Tourist Office has launched the Strategic MICE Market Stimulation Programme to offer a range of packages and incentives for meeting organisers and event planners that book events by 31 December.  In 2008, corporate meetings bookings grew by 12% and trade shows and exhibitions grew by 54%.