Playboy Mansion Opening in Macau

MACAU, China - The Chinese gaming resort of Macau will soon see construction of a new Playboy Mansion, furthering Playboy Enterprises' revival of its once booming club arm.

Macau is a 10 square-mile enclave with a population of 500,000 that last year surpassed Las Vegas as the highest-grossing gaming region in the world. The Playboy Mansion Macau will be 40,000 square feet in size, more than doubling that of the Playboy Club opened last October at the Palms Resort in Vegas.

"Asia…is a very important region for us," Playboy chief executive Christie Hefner was quoted as saying in an Associated Press story. "Well-regulated gaming, whether it's in Las Vegas or Macau, is a natural adjunct of the Playboy lifestyle."

The mansion is being built as part of a $2 billion complex called Macau Studio City that will occupy 3.7 million square feet and include casinos, shopping malls, hotels and studios for the production of movies and TV shows. The project is a joint venture by Hong Kong's eSun Holdings and partners including the U.S.-based New Cotai LLC.

Hefner refuted suggestions that the new mansion would amplify Macau's image as a place teeming with prostitution and other sordid activity.

"Whatever negative connotations that may have existed in the past around Macau have long been supplanted by this rebirth," Hefner commented, making note of the area's surge in revenue since the Chinese government ended a gambling monopoly in the country in 2002, and allowed in Vegas casino brands including the Wynn and the Venetian.

The Playboy Mansion Macau is slated to open in late 2009. Until the opening last year of the Vegas location, Playboy Clubs had been defunct since 1991, when the last existing one, in Manila, was shuttered.