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Macau's SJM gets official approval for new casino

HONG KONG (AP) -- Macau casino operator SJM Holdings has received official approval to build a new resort in the world's biggest gambling center.

SJM said its contract for land in the Cotai district was published Wednesday in the official government gazette. The company is racing to catch up with rivals like Wynn Resorts and MGM.

The new projects are centered on the Cotai Strip, a patch of former swampland intended to be Asia's version of the Las Vegas Strip.

The former Portuguese colony earned $38 billion in casino revenue last year, about six times more than Las Vegas. It's the only place in China where casino gambling is legal.

SJM, founded by billionaire Stanley Ho, plans to build a 2,000-room resort with 700 gambling tables.