Billionaire Branson negotiating Chinese casino

British entrepreneur Richard Branson is in the final stages of a deal to open a $2.9 billion casino in the Las Vegas of China - the southern city of Macau.

The billionaire's Virgin Group is in negotiations to purchase a 50-acre site for the casino, which Branson describes a family entertainment venture designed to attract younger customers.

In order to acquire the property, Virgin Group must land a gaming license or join forces with one of the six companies already operating casinos in the region.

It has been reported that Branson's new resort will focus on entertainment, with three hotels and a casino, as well as cross-marketed promotions with Virgin Group's airline. The project will likely be completed in 2010.

The Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are already running megacasinos in Macau; MGM and Mirage are also slated to set up shop in the city.

Even with the competition, there is plenty of money to go around: Macau's gambling industry is expected to hit $14 billion in revenue by 2010.

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