The media in Macau are calling for a crackdown on “clone gambling rooms” like the one recently broken up at (allegedly) the Four Seasons hotel’s presidential suite after a high roller claimed to have been drugged and cheated out of $1.25m. The Macau Daily News published an op-ed urging authorities to take the situation “extremely seriously. [The authorities] should not overly rely on electronic surveillance and must instead deploy more personnel at casinos for monitoring and collecting intelligence, punishing offences without delay.” The Jornal Va Kio claimed that casino chips seized in the recent bust bore fake logos of Sands China’s Venetian Macau and the SJM Holdings-licensed Emperor Palace and Diamond casinos.
Across town in the Grand Lapa Hotel, the eldest son of recently deceased North Korean despot Kim Jong-Il has reportedly been tossed out onto the street after failing to pay his $15k room tab. Moscow newspaper Argumenty I Fakty (Arguments & Facts) quoted an unnamed source at the luxury hotel that claimed the 40-year-old Kim Jong-Nam’s Visa Gold card had been rejected for “having no money on the account.” Speculation is that North Korean authorities, who financially support Jong-Nam, cancelled his Visa card to punish him for recent comments to the Japanese media suggesting that his father opposed a third round of hereditary succession. Jong-Nam has a reputation as a gambling, partying playboy, which led to his being passed over as heir apparent in favor of Kim Jong-Un.
Definitely not being passed over for promotion is MGM China’s Pansy Ho, who has been tipped as a member of the international strategy board for BCP, Portugal’s biggest private bank. Macau Business reported that Ho, the daughter of Macau casino icon Stanley Ho and #12 on Forbes’ latest Hong Kong Rich List, will be elected to her new post at the next general assembly on Feb. 28.
Macau continues to expand its retail scope. Retail foreign currency exchange firm Travelex has opened its first store in Macau at the AIA Tower. CEO Peter Jackson told Inside Asian Gaming that the UK-based firm will fit the needs of locals who aren’t allowed access to the wider variety of currency options available from the exchange vendors inside Macau’s casinos, except on special occasions like Chinese New Year. In more salacious retail news, Macau’s first Victoria’s Secret outlet officially launched this week at the Venetian Macau. The shop has been open to the public since Dec. 1, but this week marked its official, er, unveiling. It’s the first Chinese location for the naughty knickers chain.