Fortunes Fade for Macau’s Casino Kings

For most of the past five years, the Chinese gambling mecca of Macau seemed a sure bet. After the local government ended a decades-old gaming monopoly in 2002, some of the biggest casino and hotel operators in the world rushed in with new projects, eager to tap into the hoards of wealthy Chinese who increasingly flocked to the “Asian Las Vegas.” The first American company to enter the market was Las Vegas Sands, which opened the Sands Macau casino in 2004 — and earned back its $285 million investment in only a year. U.S