Architect shares vision of Sands gambling palace in Macau The new Sands Casino in Macau, which is expected to open this month, will be a Las Vegas-style gambling palace with Chinese characteristics, its American designer said yesterday. 'The vision of the company was not to create Las Vegas,' said architect Paul Steelman, who is overseeing the finishing touches on the casino. 'It was to use our architectural skills and planning, to use the Las Vegas style of planning and management, to create a Las Vegas sense of excitement, but all within a context that would be acceptable to the Chinese market,' he said. The Sands is owned by Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson's Venetian group. It is one of several new casinos due to open in Macau over the next few years, after the city ended tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun's 42-year monopoly by awarding new gaming licences. In designing the Sands, 'we wanted something modern and new because we know that the Chinese culture loves modern and new', Mr Steelman said. To this end, he and his team consulted a fung shui geomancer, featured lots of curving lines in the design and made sure the casino's interior was bright and airy. The Sands is on reclaimed land between the Mandarin Oriental hotel and the Macau ferry terminal. Mr Steelman yesterday gave a preview of what the casino is expected to look like on completion. It is set on the water's edge featuring 319 gaming tables, 510 slot machines, six restaurants, a 750-seat theatre, 51 guest suites, 18 VIP rooms and a spa. The clientele is expected to consist mainly of Chinese and other Asian gamblers, with a smaller number of visitors from other countries. The opening date is a tightly guarded secret, and Mr Steelman said he did not know it himself. It was originally set for March, and then pushed back to this month.