110 suspected prostitutes rounded up at biggest casino

Friday, December 10, 2010

HONG KONG - More than 100 suspected prostitutes have been rounded up in a police raid on the world’s biggest casino, the US-owned Venetian resort in Macau, a news report said Friday.

The women were detained in an operation involving dozens of officers early Thursday at the giant complex run by US casino operator Sheldon Adelson, the South China Morning Post reported.

A total of 110 women from mainland China were taken away by police on suspicion of working as prostitutes while 22 other people thought to be operating them were also detained, the newspaper said.

The women are alleged to have paid around $130 a day as protection money to pimps who registered the women as hotel guests to enable them to ply their trade on the gaming floors.

A spokesperson for Adelson’s company Sands Macau told the newspaper that around 70 uniformed and plain-clothes police conducted the raid at the casino over two hours Thursday morning.

The raid was the biggest of its kind in recent years in Macau. Sex workers are officially barred from the Venetian, which cost more than $2 billion to build and opened in 2007.

The Venetian is 40 storeys high and covers 980,000 square metres. It has 3,000 hotel suites, 51,000 square metres of casino space, 3,400 slot machines and 800 gambling tables.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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