MACAU casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun and top gambling tour operator David Chow Kam-fai have teamed up to propose a $600 million 'entertainment wharf' complete with a man-made volcano spewing artificial lava. Sources familiar with the joint venture said the project would cover an area of about 100,000 square metres. The project site covers a bay that still requires reclamation in the Outer Harbour. They said the project - between the jetfoil pier and the Macau Cultural Centre - could be completed in less than two years. It was hoped construction would begin before the end of the year. According to preliminary plans, the wharf will be modelled on similar amusement facilities overseas. Apart from an artificial volcano, the area is planned to include gambling venues, a commercial centre, a string of theme restaurants, bars, a 350-metre jetty, a disco for up to 4,000 revellers, a mock medieval castle and a traditional Chinese fishing village complete with a fleet of sampans serving as seafood restaurants. Mr Chow - who runs VIP gaming rooms and tours for gamblers and is also a directly elected legislator - originally planned to launch a 'Fishermen's Wharf' project. But after Mr Ho announced this year he was planning a similar project, they decided to team up. Mr Ho, 78, is managing director of the casino monopoly company Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM). Mr Chow, 49, owns a host of gambling-related and property development businesses. A government spokesman described the project as 'quite interesting'. STDM's casino monopoly franchise, which presently covers 10 casinos, expires at the end of next year. Gambling licences are expected to be granted to several rivals, ending Mr Ho's 38-year monopoly on the gaming industry in the former Portuguese enclave. A senior government official said last week that while the monopoly would be abolished, STDM was expected to remain the local gaming sector's main licensee. According to the official, the Government plans to liberalise the gaming industry next year by granting a number of individual casino licences. STDM's casino tax payments amounted to $4.2 billion last year, about 45 per cent of the Government's total budget revenue. Macau logged 4.3 million visitor arrivals in the first half of the year, an increase of 20 per cent on the same period last year.