MACAU LEADS LAS VEGAS IN GAMBLING
What happens in Vegas now happens in Macau. The former Portuguese colony has overtaken
Las Vegas as the world's No. 1 gambling market.
From January through to November, Macau casinos took in $6.485 billion from slot machines and
table games, beating the Vegas' $6.079 billion, according to Macau's Statistics and Census
Service and the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Full 2006 numbers aren’t available yet, but
Kareem Jalal, editor of Inside Asian Gaming, says Macau probably widened its lead in
Macau draws millions of visitors from mainland China, a booming economy with a population of
1.3 billion people, who can't legally bet at home. "Anything that's prohibited is interesting," says
factory manager Loh Jian-ping, visiting from the Chinese city of Guangzhou, before going into a
Macau won't hurt the Las Vegas strip, Jalal says. "If anything, it could help Vegas," he says.
Casino companies operating in both places — such as Wynn Resorts — "will bring people here
and say, 'If you want the real thing, visit our casino in Vegas,' " he says.
Las Vegas operators, including Wynn Resorts, Sands Las Vegas and MGM Grand, drive
Macau's gambling industry. Until 2002, Macau gambling was a monopoly: Tycoon Stanley Ho's
old-style casinos catered to hardcore Chinese gamblers playing blackjack and baccarat.
Macau, a city of 450,000, used to be notorious for prostitution and gang battles. But Crime has
fallen since Portugal returned its colony to China in 1999.
U.S. casino giants believe Macau will become an Asian version of Las Vegas, where visitors
come for conventions, shows and shopping. Sands opened in Macau waterfront in 2004 and
earned back its $260 million investment in less than a year.
This summer Sands will open the 3,000-room, 350-shop, $1.8 billion Venetian hotel, casino and
shopping complex, the first of many family- and convention-friendly developments to come.
Wynn Macau opened in September, targeting high rollers. "We are the top joint. We're the
high-end place," Chairman Stephen Wynn says.
There's room for competition. "Look at the pie," says Mark Brown, Sands Macau president.
"There are 3 billion people in a travel radius around Macau."
of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past, e.g.
his former wife
a former employer
the former president of the United States
The house, a former church, has been attractively converted.
a country or area controlled politically by a more powerful and often distant country, e.g.
Australia and New Zealand are former British colonies.
went beyond something by being a greater amount or degree, e.g.
Our US sales have now overtaken our sales in Europe.
China has recently overtaken the UK as the fourth largest economy in the world.
became larger or included a larger amount or number, e.g.
The gap between the rich and the poor is widening in Brazil.
a winning position during a race or other situation where people are competing, e.g.
She's in the lead (= winning).
France has just taken the lead (= started to win).
a three-goal lead
attracts someone to a place or person, e.g.
Thousands of tourists are drawn to the city every year.
If something is booming, it is increasing or becoming more successful or popular very quickly,
House prices are booming.
Sales are booming.
risk money on the result of a game, competition, etc, e.g.
He lost all his money betting on horses.
[+ two objects + (that)] I bet him a dollar that I was right.
officially forbade (not allowed) something, e.g.
[often passive] Smoking is prohibited on most international flights.
[+ from + doing sth] The new law prohibits people from drinking alcohol in the street.
Cocaine is a prohibited drug.
have a harmful effect on something, e.g.
His chances of re-election were hurt by allegations of corruption.
His resignation is likely to hurt the company.
a major area of entertainment within a town or city with lots of bars, restaurants, clubs, etc.
the real thing (phrase)
the original, best or most typical example of something, e.g.
It's a synthetic material which looks like the real thing.
If you want to experience the real thing you must go to Disneyland in Florida.
an operator is a company that does a particular type of business, e.g.
a tour operator
provide the power or energy that makes someone or something work, e.g.
She was driven to achieve success by her controlling father.
China's economy is driven by exports.
when a company or organization is the only one in an area of business or activity and has
complete control of it, e.g.
They have a monopoly on the postal service.
As a monopoly they can charge almost any price they like.
someone who is very successful and powerful in business and has a lot of money, e.g.
a media tycoon
Who is the most famous tycoon in China?
Bill Gates is a computer software tycoon.
catered to (phrasal verb)
gave people exactly what they want, usually something that people think is wrong, e.g.
This legislation simply caters to unacceptable racist opinions.
We can't cater to the salary demands of our workers.
extremely loyal to someone or something, and not willing to change, e.g.
The band has a hard-core following of supporters.
Peter's a hardcore computer-gamer.
famous for something bad, e.g.
a notorious criminal
She was notorious for her bad temper.
He was notorious for being a bad loser.
the work of a person who has sex with someone for money
a group of criminals who work together, e.g.
a gang of armed robbers
Don't go there at night; it's gang territory.
a very large and important company or organization, e.g.
a media/software giant
Microsoft is a software giant.
Hutchison Whampoa is a telecoms giant.
aiming advertising or a product at someone, e.g.
[often passive] The products are targeted at people in their late twenties.
Which age group are you targeting with this product?
high rollers (noun)
people who bet large amounts of money while gambling
the top joint (US English) (noun)
the best restaurant/bar/club/hotel in the town or city
a certain distance from a particular point in any direction, e.g.
Most facilities lie within a two-mile radius of the house.
One million people live within a one-mile radius of the city centre.