Wynn Macau to expand casino operations

Steve Wynn’s Macau resort will add 85 gaming tables and 551 slots in an expansion scheduled to open next Monday December, 24th. The expansion, which also features a new rotunda entrance, brings the casino resort’s total to 390 tables and 1,190 slot machines, Wynn Resorts Ltd. said in a statement from Las Vegas this week.

The statement didn’t say how much the expansion cost, and Wynn Resorts didn’t immediately respond to a reporter’s e-mail seeking the information.

News of the expansion comes two days after the opening of the USD 1.25 billion MGM Grand casino, which marked MGM’s first entry into Asia. The Grand features 400 gambling tables, 800 slot machines and 16 private gaming rooms.

Las Vegas casino operators have rushed to set up shop in Macau – a former Portuguese colony – since the local government ended the monopoly formerly held by businessman Stanley Ho.

American Sheldon Adelson was the first outsider to enter the territory, opening the Sands Macau in 2004, and then this August opening the USD 2.4 billion Venetian, a Las Vegas style casino resort with Italian gondolas floating down indoor canals. The USD 1.1 billion Wynn Macau first opened in September 2006.

Wynn Resorts also said it plans to add 11 luxury stores in January, and that it has started building another 400 luxury suites and more shopping and high-roller gaming space as part of a second extension known as Wynn Diamond Suites. The company said that expansion is scheduled to open in two years.

Macau, an hour by high-speed ferry west of Hong Kong, beat the Las Vegas Strip last year as the world’s top gambling center. It raked in USD 6.95 billion in gambling revenue in 2006, while the Strip made USD 6.69 billion, regulators in the cities said.

The former Portuguese enclave reverted to Chinese rule in December 1999.