IAG 2006-04-05 - Apr- May - page 8-9

7
7
irst therewasdark.
After the huge rush of the big bang, the
consensus view is that the universe first be-
gan growing at a slowing rate. Then, about
5 billion years ago, the expansion began ac-
celerating, and astrophysicists claim the uni-
verse isnowexpanding faster everyday.
Thedaysbefore thehandover ofMacau’s
sovereignty tomainlandChina inDecember
1999weredark indeed,with economic stag-
nationexacerbatedby triad turfwars.
ExpandingGalaxy
and the JunketWars
HongKong-listedGalaxy Entertainment Group saw its profit plummet
as SandsMacaumade inroads into the high-rollermarket.
Wherewill Galaxy stand in the city’s ever-growing gaming universe?
Macau’s big bang came in 2004, when
the city saw the opening of the first casinos
from new operators after Stanley Ho’s 40-
year gaming monopoly ended in 2002. In
May 2004,VenetianMacauopened themar-
ket-revolutionizing Sands Macau, which at
opening contained 277 gaming tables and
405slotmachines,andmade thecontentious
boastofhousing theworld’sbiggestchande-
lier.SandsMacaunowhas438 tablesand921
slots,andmoreareon theway.
In July 2004, Galaxy Resort and Casino
– renamedGalaxy Entertainment Group fol-
lowing its backdoor listing in Hong Kong
through the sale of 97.9% of its shares to K.
WahConstructionMaterialsLtd–opened the
lessspectacularWaldoCasino,whichatopen-
inghadamere38gaming tablesand150slot
machines.Waldowas hastily converted from
an office building and its most notable fea-
ture is its garish neon sign out front, but its
concentration on VIP gaming enabled it to
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