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The Macau Metro Monitor, May 20th, 2010



SANDS BETS ON MACAU-SINGAPORE CONNECTION Macau Daily Times

Sands China launched yesterday a 88-day campaign for its high rollers that for the first time puts together Macau and Singapore casinos.  The grand prize of the “Win a Billionaire’s Lifestyle” promotion will include private jet transfers to the Lion City and luxury accommodation at the newly opened Marina Bay Sands.  According to Kevin Clayton, Venetian’s executive vice-president for marketing operations, "It’s a very simple way to create the most powerful program possible with which to reward our costumers.Other brands would also like to do that and we have the size to accomplish it."

Clayton played down the threat of Singapore’s gaming sector to Macau. “Sheldon [Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands] said there is room for many more gaming resorts in Asia”, he recalled.  But the cooperation must not be restricted to Sands’ properties in Asia. “We, the gaming operators, have to work together to build Cotai as a destination”, said Clayton. “We have to get more people into Macau, working with the tourism agencies and the local Government”, the executive stated.

For Clayton, the sector has two short-term priorities: “increase the number of overall visitors to Macau and get more people to stay longer”. And that is the purpose, he added, of the attractions to be built at the parcels 5 and 6 in Cotai. Clayton also assured the new areas “are still slated to open in early 2011”.

EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR THE 1ST QUARTER 2010 DSEC

The unemployment rate for January – March 2010 in Macau was unchanged at 2.9% in comparison with the previous quarter period. Total labour force was 323,300 in the first quarter of 2010, a YoY increase of 1,000.

Analyzed by industry, the majority of the employed were engaging in Recreational, Cultural, Gaming & Other Services (23.4%) and Hotels, Restaurants & Similar Activities (14.3%).  In terms of occupation, most of the employed were Clerks (including casino dealers, floorpersons, betting service operators, etc.) and Service & Sales Workers, accounting for 26.1% and 22.7% respectively.

Median monthly employment earnings of both the employed (MOP9,000) and the local residents (MOP10,000) held stable as the fourth quarter of 2009.

TIGHTER VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR SIX ASIAN COUNTRIES Macau Daily Times

The Government will start to require visas for people arriving from six South Asia countries before arriving at the Macau border in the second half of the year, the head of the Office of the Secretary for Security, Vong Chun Fat, said yesterday.

The measure aims solve the problems of an increasing number of overstayers and illegal workers.

The visa entry requirement was announced at the end of last year and include: Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh.  “Since it is a completely new measure, it is necessary to plan and study it in detail. Currently, the immigration department of the Public Security Forces Affairs Bureau had already done the preparatory works together with the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Macau and it has obtained a satisfactory result.  We hope this measure can come into effect in the second half of this year,” he stated.

SANDS SUES LAW GROUP AFTER SINGAPORE CASINO COMPLAINT BusinessWeek

Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Singapore casino resort sued the organizers of the first conference it hosted after payment was withheld for an event where the power failed during a speech by the Chief Justice of New South Wales and delegates complained of unfinished rooms.  Marina Bay Sands Pte is seeking S$300,000 ($214,000) from IPBA 2010 Pte.  Delegates to the legal conference including New York-based Raymond Burke Jr., who received hotel confirmations promising “intimate little touches and impeccable service,” found unfinished rooms and malfunctioning fixtures.

Delegates at the IPBA annual general meeting closing the conference proposed challenging Sands on the fees.  The IPBA organizing committee said in an e-mailed statement that it wrote to Sands on May 6 to propose compensation and a meeting on May 11 was followed by the writ.  “Now that we have been dragged to court we will defend the claim and issue a counterclaim as well,” according to the statement.

SINGAPORE'S GDP GREW 15.5% ON-YEAR, 38.6% ON-QUARTER IN Q1 Channel News Asia

Singapore's GDP expanded by 15.5% YoY and 38.6% QoQ, ahead of preliminary estimates.  Despite the strong growth, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has chosen not to revise its growth forecast for the economy, keeping it at 7% to 9% for the year.  MTI warned of heightened market anxiety over the possibility of a sovereign debt default in Europe and concerns over excessive asset price inflation in emerging Asia.