The island’s capital, Praia, will play host to the new complex, featuring a 152,700 square-metre integrated resort and gaming facility, as well as function rooms, a marina, a convention area, retail outlets and a wide variety of restaurants. The former Portuguese colony already welcomes over 600,000 tourists to its shores every year, but it is hoped that the new superstructure will significantly increase this number to around 2 million. As Macau has a shared linguistic legacy with Cape Verde, it is hoped that a number of the new visitors will be the Macau-based VIPs who have shied away from the casinos at home due to concerns about the crackdown on corruption in recent years.
The new casino in Cape Verde won’t be the first, following the opening of the Casino Royal in 2013. The €5 million structure, housed within the premises of the Hilton on the island of Sal, was the first of its kind to be constructed since new gaming laws were introduced in Cape Verde.
Macau Legend Co-Chairman, Executive Director, and Chief Executive Officer David Chow feels there are reasons to be optimistic ahead of the casino’s completion, stating in a press release: "Cape Verde is a Portuguese-speaking country that enjoys political stability, beautiful scenery and pleasant climate with convenient transportation network."
Chow, who laid the first stone during a construction ceremony, was full of praise and explained why his company had chosen to build on the African archipelago: "Tourism is the country's core industry. In 2014, the tourism industry accounted for 22 percent [sic] of its local GDP and is growing steadily. With a number of international routes connected to the rest of the world, 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.”
As part of the deal, the new casino will benefit from 15 years of tax relief, while the Macau Legend company will be given exclusive nationwide rights on online gaming, online sports betting and physical betting for the next decade and a very reasonable tax of ten percent on gross gaming revenue.