Casino tycoon socks it to HK high rollers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 February, 1994, 12:00am

SINCE it's virtually certain that garment and property tycoon Allan Zeman's $20 million luxury yacht, which was stolen a few months ago, is now gainfully employed as a floating casino somewhere within China's territorial waters, it was therefore hardly surprising to see him at the top table during yesterday's International Casino and Gambling Conference at the Marriott.

Some of the biggest names in the gambling world were there, with the keynote address being delivered by billionaire Steve Wynn, chairman of Mirage, whose casinos such as the Golden Nugget and Treasure Island are Las Vegas landmarks.

Actually, Zeman was Wynn's guest at the conference as the two are long standing friends. And while Wynn and his wife Elaine have been in town Zeman has been acting as guide.

Wynn (who in gambling terms is in America what Stanley Ho is in Macau) told Keeping Posted that apart from making his speech he had one other important duty while in town.

He said: ''I've also taken the chance to meet some of the hundreds of Hong Kong people who will be spending Lunar New Year at my place.'' The ''place'' he was referring to is the glitzy US$1.22 billion (HK$9.41 billion) Treasure Island (Michael Jackson keeps a permanent suite there), which is set in 103 lush acres and contains eight million square feet of building area.

And so well received is it by the high rollers, including the ones from Hong Kong, that Wynn has been dancing all the way to the bank to the tune of over US$1 billion in capital.

''I couldn't be happier,'' said Wynn with an expansive smile as he climbed aboard Zeman's gleaming Bentley and set off on another tour of ''Hong Kong's most wonderful buildings''. Isn't life grand.