Macau-based casino and hotel operator Macau Legend Development Limited has broken ground on a US$290 million integrated resort on the eastern Atlantic archipelago nation of Cape Verde. In addition to a casino and hotel, the 153,000 square meter project will feature office buildings, a marina, a museum and a convention center, and should take three years to complete. 22% of tropical Cape Verde’s GDP now comes from tourism and the government there hopes the new development will help boost visitor numbers from 600,000 visitors per year now to more than 2 million.
Attending the groundbreaking ceremony, Macau Legend CEO David Chow Kam Fai hailed the project as a landmark in cooperation between Cape Verde, China and Macau. “Cape Verde is a Portuguese-speaking country that enjoys political stability, beautiful scenery, a pleasant climate and a convenient transportation network,” he said. “It is able to attract tourists from North Africa, West Africa, Europe, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, thereby creating a new market, especially with the trend that more and more Chinese are emigrating and investing in these places and this saves them from flying long to Asia.”
Cape Verde’s first casino opened in 2013 when laws allowing gambling on five of its ten islands came into force. Macau Legend now operates two casinos in Macau. Amid declining revenues across the whole Macau gaming industry, the new project will be its first foray into the international market. The terms of its agreement with the Cape Verde government include a land concession of 75 years, a 25-year gaming license, and a 10-year nationwide monopoly over online gaming and sports betting.