Galaxy Gaming eyes expansion, maybe Vegas

Feb 3, 2014 7:14 PM

For years, Las Vegas casinos have welcomed gamblers from China, especially during the Lunar New Year celebration. Now, a gaming mogul from Hong Kong hints that his expansion plans for Galaxy Gaming could include a property in the U.S.

It isn’t high on his agenda at the moment since he has major development plans in Macau. He also is focused on expected casino approvals in Japan and Taiwan.

And, Lui Che-woo, Asia’s second richest man, is 84 years old.

Age won’t interfere with his business plans, he told the Macau Daily Times. He’s just hitting his stride, he said.

“What can I do if I retire, watch the sun rise and set?”

Lui made his fortune in construction and real estate. And he is certainly familiar with the American market since he owns 13 hotels in the U.S., including seven Hiltons. Now, he said, he wants to do something “meaningful. I don’t want to just sit there waiting to die.”

It was only a decade ago that the chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. acquired a Macau gaming license, initially as a partner with Las Vegas Sands Corp. but later on his own. His Galaxy Macau resort on Cotai is allowed to build a maximum floor area of 21.5 million square feet, the most among the city’s six casino operators. That would quadruple the size of its existing resort.

Lui said that as part of his expansion plans for Galaxy he is open to acquiring U.S. casinos.

He describes gambling in Macau as “being different now” from the decades during which gambling was controlled by kingpin Stanley Ho.

Dirty and grungy gambling dens have been replaced by Las Vegas-style destination resorts.

“People can now bring their whole families to casino resort in Macau.”

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at [email protected].

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