Tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun is planning to open a casino with a Beijing joint venture partner in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, it was revealed last night. The gambling magnate's Hong Kong company would launch a casino in the spring after the capital's two casinos closed earlier this year, new consul Denny Yung Yu-yan said. Mongolia, opening up after the communist era, wants to lure gamblers from the mainland and the rest of Asia. The gaming rooms, run by a combination of German, Mongolian, Malaysian and Hong Kong investors, closed in June after tough regulations were introduced requiring a large cash deposit and tax on turnover. Mr Ho's gambling ambitions in Mongolia were disclosed at the opening of its Hong Kong consulate yesterday attended by President Natsagiin Bagabandi and a 90-member delegation. Mr Bagabandi, who met Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, said he was confident an agreement to start direct flights between Ulan Bator and Hong Kong would be signed soon. Travellers currently have to go via Beijing, doubling the cost of flights, Mr Yung said.