Virgin and Tabcorp linked to Macau casino

The Virgin Group, owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, and Australia’s largest gaming group, Tabcorp, are reported to be in discussions about the possibility of building a $3 billion casino on the tiny Chinese island of Macau.

Sir Richard Branson visited Macau last week with Tabcorp’s Matthew Slatter in a trip to find ideal potential sites and partners for its casino development. Although Virgin are reported to be in discussions with other companies regarding the development, Tabcorp are set to play a critical supporting role in any potential deal.

This is backed up by Tabcorp’s admission earlier this month that Tabcorp was more suited to becoming a follower rather than a leader in the booming casino island of Macau.

However, Virgin and Tabcorp have both refused to comment on the latest gossip.

According to the Financial Times, Sir Richard held talks with Macau’s leader, Edmund Ho, last Wednesday proposing the details of a planned entertainment complex, including three hotels and a casino. If granted, the complex could be completed by 2010 and within 18 months, Sir Richard would have got back his setup fees.

Macau has attracted large overseas investment over the past few years into its thriving casino industry any if this deal were to go ahead, it would be alongside the most expensive to date. At present, Las Vegas kingpins Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts have a strong presence in Macau, with many more big players such as MGM Mirage set to join them.

Editor, - 2007-01-29 11:53:18

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