Macau Legend Casino Construction begins in West Africa

Construction recently began on the €250 million Macau Legend casino resort in Praia, Cape Verde. This is intriguing because Cape Verde is located in Western Africa, which isn’t the biggest hotspot for major casino resorts. However, the Portuguese-speaking islands of Cape Verde hope that the casino complex will help bring more tourists to the island chain.

Macau Legend is set to span 152,700 square meters and feature a gambling floor, marina, convention center, retail outlets and fine restaurants. Construction will take three years before the casino resort is finished.

According to PokerNews, 600,000 people visit Cape Verde every year. However, the island chain’s tourism sector hopes to increase this figure to 2 million annual visitors by completing the casino.

Gambling is nothing new to the tiny nation of 499,000 inhabitants. A new law in 2013 paved the way for casinos to be built on the islands of Boa Vista, Maoi, Sal, Santiago and Sao Vicente. But this will be the first time that a major gambling resort will grace the island chain.

Macau Legend has gotten some breaks to build in Cape Verde, including 15 years of tax relief and nationwide rights to online gaming, online sports betting and land-based sports betting for 10 years.

David Chow, CEO of Macau Legend, was on hand to lay the casino’s first stone and discuss what he loves about building the resort there, aside from the aforementioned breaks.

“Cape Verde is a Portuguese-speaking country that enjoys political stability, beautiful scenery and pleasant climate with convenient transportation network,” said Chow. “Tourism is the country’s core industry. In 2014, the tourism industry accounted for 22 per cent of its local GDP and is growing steadily.”

Looking specifically at the tourism, Chow is most excited about all the different options that visitors have for reaching the island.

“Cape Verde currently has four international airports; the largest one is in the capital city, Praia, which is also where our project is located,” Chow explained. “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. The project is also a first choice for short-term vacation, which will be comparable with Bali and Phuket and other world class tourist destinations.”

Construction on Macau Legend is scheduled to be completed by 2019. At this point, the small island chain should see a large boost in visitors coupled with far more entertainment options thanks to the €250 million complex.