US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands has unveiled plans for a London-themed resort in Macau.
The resort is part of plans to spend $1.1bn (£830m) on renovating the firm’s five properties in China’s gambling enclave.
Sands said that the revamped resort would feature some “recognisable landmarks”.
The move comes as Macau’s gambling revenues begin to bounce back after a Beijing-led crackdown on corruption.
The Londoner will replace Sands Cotai Central, which currently features more than 6,000 hotel rooms, 4,000 sq ft of retail space and a 1,700-seat cinema.
Robert Goldstein, Sands’ president and chief operating officer, said the resort’s facade would resemble “something with all the iconic architectural look and feel of Big Ben”.
“If you think about London, it’s iconic in so many ways, the buses to the Beefeaters, and there’s just so many opportunities there,” he added.
“Our team is having great fun playing with that.”
Sands has invested more than $13bn into the region since 2002, when it became the first US company to open a casino there.
Its latest announcement comes as Chinese authorities place increasing pressure on the region to diversify away from gambling, leading to a race by major firms to build resorts before casino licenses start to expire in 2020.
Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal, but its reputation as a money laundering centre recently made it the focus of prosecutions against several high-profile government and casino officials.
But more gambling money is making its way into the semi-autonomous region of southern China. Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau reported gambling revenues of 67bn patacas ($8.3bn) between July and September this year, up 22% from 2016.
In its latest quarterly results, the firm said that during the same period, total net revenues for Sands China – its Chinese subsidiary – increased 12.2% to $1.93bn.
“Our strategy to again boost our investment in Macau is testimony to our unwavering belief in the secular growth trend in China,” said Sheldon Adelson, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Sands.
Source: BBC News