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Galaxy Boosts Budget For Second Phase of Resort on Cotai

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., the Macau casino operator founded by billionaire Lui Che Woo, said it will boost the budget for the second construction phase of its Cotai resort by HK$3.6 billion ($464 million).

The company is increasing the phase 2 budget for the Galaxy Macau to HK$19.6 billion from HK$16 billion as it fine tunes plans, Deputy Chairman Francis Lui told reporters in Hong Kong today.

Galaxy is competing with companies such as Sands China Ltd. to expand in Cotai, Asia’s equivalent of the Las Vegas strip. It agreed to buy the Grand Waldo casino hotel in the increasingly popular area last month to widen its footprint there as new attractions, hotel rooms and an improved rail connection are drawing more mainland Chinese visitors to the world’s biggest gambling hub.

Casino revenue in Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, rose 14 percent to a record of 304 billion patacas ($38 billion) in 2012.

Galaxy had HK$14.4 billion of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The casino operator said on May 5 that it will pay HK$3.25 billion for Grand Waldo which includes a spa, casino and hotel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net