A newly reclaimed site for casino development has emerged next to Macau's Nam Van Lake, highlighting a lack of transparency in the city's land-grant process. The site, which includes an 8,100 square metre plot near Wynn Macau, will boast a casino hotel belonging to Star Cruises, the world's third-largest cruise liner company. The HK$4.7 billion casino hotel will operate under the umbrella of gaming mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun's Sociedade de Jogos de Macau upon completion. An investigation by the South China Morning Post has found that the land has not been bid for publicly, as required by Macau's Land Law, and the government has yet to approve its zoning, even though a developer has already put up a sign bearing its name and deployed bulldozers to clear the site. The sign says 'Treasure Island', short for Treasure Island Entertainment Complex Ltd (TIECL), and can be seen on the land adjoining Nam Van Lake. A government source said Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah was still reviewing the zoning application for the land, although he may soon give it a go-ahead. It is a standard practice in Macau to publish in the Government Gazette details of newly granted land, which is the only way the public can get a glimpse of the land-zoning system. But a search of the gazette's issues over the past 12 months turned up no references to the site. Since last December, a second site has also gone into private hands without zoning procedures having been completed, while a third site has been formally granted to a private company at a fraction of its market value. TIECL is a special-purpose company 50 per cent owned by businessman Jose Manuel dos Santos. Star Cruises announced in January that it would acquire 75 per cent of Macau Land Investment, a company which fully controls TIECL, in order to build a gaming complex called Resorts World@Macau . Mr Santos has declined to comment. A Star Cruises spokeswoman confirmed that the Macau government had yet to approve its application for the use of the land. Macau's new Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Lau Si-io, did not respond to a Post inquiry. Macau lawmaker Ng Kuok-cheong said Macau's Land Law required that land should be disposed of through public auction, except with the special permission of the chief executive. However, only one out of about 400 disposals had followed procedures. Legislator Jose Coutinho said he was shocked to learn about developments at the site, which he believed would become a blot on the landscape for Nam Van Lake. 'There should be no more commercial building there to spoil the natural beauty of Nam Van Lake,' he said. Other recent examples of unannounced land disposals, which have caught Macau people by surprise, include the declaration last month that a site near the Macau tower was private property. Last month, a plot of land measuring 5,400 square metres was granted to San Tung Iong Investment Company at a zoning premium of 41 million patacas, less than 20 per cent of its market value. The land in Ilha Verde, northwest Macau, was zoned for a commercial and residential complex. Legislator Au Kam-san, Macau's most outspoken land critic, said he had not seen any real change in the chaotic urban planning system after the arrest three months ago of secretary for transport and public works Ao Man-long.