China's gambling hub opens $2 billion resort with a giant copy of London's Big Ben

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This photograph taken connected October 20, 2022 shows a replica of the Big Ben Tower astatine the Londoner Casino edifice astatine the Cotai Strip successful Macau. (Photo by Eduardo Leal / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Eduardo Leal | Afp | Getty Images

Tourists successful Asia nary longer person to instrumentality agelong haul flights to sojourn the UK's Big Ben oregon to drawback a changeable of London's iconic reddish double-decker bus.

They tin present bash the aforesaid successful Macao, the alleged Las Vegas of Asia.

The Londoner Macao, a British-themed luxury casino edifice that opened successful the Chinese gambling hub, held its expansive opening ceremonial connected Thursday.

And English shot personage David Beckham was determination to grace the event. 

The Chinese gambling metropolis has added yet different luxury casino edifice on Cotai Strip, a word that Las Vegas Sands uses to notation to an alley enactment with edifice casinos, buying centers and theaters.

"You can't get a amended edifice country than what we've enactment successful the Londoner. You can't get amended spa experience, you can't get amended nutrient experience," Las Vegas Sands CEO Robert Goldstein told CNBC connected Thursday.

Las Vegas Sands is simply a 'huge believer' successful  Macao and volition  beryllium  determination   for the agelong  haul, CEO says

He said the opening of edifice "exemplifies our committedness to quality," and added: "The rooms are arsenic bully arsenic they are anyplace successful the world."

The edifice has been operational for the past 2 years, but its opening was delayed owed to strict Covid-19 restrictions and question rules.  

The $2 cardinal edifice holds replicas of the UK's iconic buildings. They see the Palace of Westminster, the British premier minister's authoritative residence connected 10 Downing Street, and the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, among different monuments successful London.

Las Vegas Sands owns The Londoner Macao, on with The Venetian Macao, The Parisian Macao, Sands Maco, and The Plaza Macao & Four Seasons Hotel Macao — each located on the Cotai Strip, the institution website showed. 

Replicas of celebrated European landmarks similar the Eiffel Tower and Venice's expansive canal tin beryllium seen astatine the different hotels. 

Goldstein is arrogant that the luxury edifice developer has brought Italy, France and England to Macao, a Chinese peculiar administrative region. 

"Who doesn't emotion Paris? It seemed similar a earthy acceptable to maine to decorativeness disconnected the triumvirate of Italian, French, and past English," Goldstein said. 

The Londoner Macao casino edifice and the Venetian casino resort, on the Cotai portion successful Macau, China.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The biggest item for visitors to The Londoner Macao is nary uncertainty the "Changing of the Guard amusement extravaganza," according to the resort's website. It was launched Thursday nighttime during the opening ceremony.

Taking notation from the Changing of the Guard ceremonial that occurs astatine Buckingham Palace, the show astatine the edifice volition instrumentality spot six days a week and impact implicit 20 dancers and musicians. 

Visitors tin besides person a sensation of London by indulging successful an Alice successful Wonderland inspired day tea, oregon hop into the classical achromatic cab for a virtual acquisition wherever Beckham drives done his favourite spots successful the city. 

Not conscionable astir gambling

When 1 thinks of Macao, the archetypal thought is often gambling astatine casinos. But the metropolis has transformed beyond that, and present offers a antithetic acquisition for each visitor. 

Goldstein said that 20 years ago, radical successful Hong Kong couldn't ideate that Macao could person retail, restaurants, spas, conventions, and hotels.

Today, cipher questions the maturation of Macao immoderate more, helium said emphasizing that Macao is simply a precise "dominant and important" market. 

The casino operators awarded the concessions agreed to collectively invest astir $15 cardinal implicit the adjacent 10 years, to assistance Macao diversify its reliance from gambling and boost planetary tourism.

Sands China is 'not inexpensive  enough' to beryllium  our apical  prime   successful  Macao, says concern    firm

"Gaming isn't a hard concern to build, and the authorities is close to absorption connected the maturation of tourism," Goldstein told CNBC. "Non-gaming feeds gaming … Those non-gaming amenities are incredibly important to some sides." 

"What we effort to bash is physique hotels that enactment successful tandem. The gamers privation to come, and the non-gamers travel present to store oregon spell to the spa for 3 days. So we'll beryllium successful concern for 3 days, and they'll ne'er person to spell to the casino," helium added.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands are up much than 16% year-to-date.

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