Vice crackdown nets 110 prostitutes at Venetian Macao

MACAU More than 100 alleged prostitutes and 22 others accused of running a prostitution syndicate out of the luxury Venetian Macao Resort Hotel have been arrested in a raid by Macau police.

The raid took place on the Venetian’s sprawling casino floor, with 110 women from mainland China and 22 others thought to be controlling them taken into custody.

Aaron Fischer, a gaming analyst with Hong Kong brokerage CLSA, tells Agence France-Presse that the raid is bad news for the Macau hospitality industry. “They have been trying to attract convention visitors and family visitors. This does not encourage visitation by that kind of crowd,” he says.

The Friday raid coincided with a visit by Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns the 3,000-key resort’s operator, Sands China. Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese tells Las Vegas Review-Journal that “the company will work with the authorities in any way possible.”

Last week, the Macau government rejected an application by Sands China to build another resort on the Cotai Strip. The company also operates Four Seasons Macao, Cotai Strip, and Sands Macao Hotel.