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THE M3: CAMBODIAN COMPETITION; KOREA LOOSEN CHINESE RESTRICTIONS; IMPORTED LABOR BYLAW

The Macau Metro Monitor, July 29th, 2010


HUGE CAMBODIAN CASINO COMPLEX PLANNED TO LURE CHINESE Reuters India, Bloomberg

Intercity Group, a South Korean real-estate developer, is planning to build Bellus Angokor Resort & City, a $400 million integrated resort and casino in Cambodia, to target Chinese high-rollers from Macau and Singapore.  Harrah's and MGM are potential investors of the project.

James Cho, vice-president of Intercity Group, told Reuters that the resort will be in Siem Reap province,195 miles northwest of the capital Phnom Penh, which attracts over a million tourists a year to its famed Angkor temples.  Construction of the Water Park complex, with 3 hotels, a gaming centre, shopping and convention centres and 3 golf courses (including 18-hole course), will start in October and it should open in early 2012.   "They're (Chinese) visiting Singapore, they're visiting Southeast Asia, and we just think that right now it's a very good time, it's the right time. Asian gaming is hitting Cambodia right now...There is no visa restriction like they have in Macau," Cho added.

Cambodia attracted 2.2 million tourists last year, with about 580,000 flying directly into Siem Reap, according to government statistics.  The Cambodian government earned $17MM in 2009 from its 29 casinos.

KOREA PLANNING TO RELAX TRAVELING RESTRICTIONS FOR MAINLAND CHINESE VISITORS Macau Daily News

Starting next month, Korea will loosen travel restriction for Mainland Chinese visitors.  Korea hopes to attract >3 million annual visitors by 2012.  According to the Director of Travel & Tourism Association in Macau, this change in scheme will in the in short term potentially reduce the number of mainland visitors traveling to Macau, but from a long term perspective, it should not cause a major impact since Korea and Macau are different markets.

IMPORTED LABOR BYLAW IN EFFECT ON SUNDAY Macau Daily Times

The bylaw that states that companies “should keep the minimum number of local workers imposed upon the [imported labour] hiring authorization” will come into effect on Sunday, the Human Resources Office (GRH) said.  According to the bylaw, if any local worker were to leave, another one should be hired within two weeks. If that’s not possible, the company should ask GRH for an extension of the deadline, within five days. After that, the authorities have 15 days as well to decide on whether the extension is justified or not.