he megalithic 'six-star' casino was bankrolled by Melco PBL, a joint venture between PBL, which Packer has controlled since the death of his father Kerry Packer in December 2005, and Hong Kong-listed Melco is run by Lawrence Ho, the son of Macau gaming magnate Stanley Ho.
It is the latest casino hotel to take advantage of relaxed gaming regulations on the island of Macau, which has a population of about 500,000 and has recently outstripped Las Vegas to become the gambling centre of the world.
The small former Portuguese colony's century-old gaming market was given a boost in 2001 when the removal of a 40-year gambling monopoly from tycoon Stanley Ho resulted in a flood of investment from American operators.
Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson led the charge with the Sands Macau, opened in 2004, and his Venetian company has been busy building a huge gaming district that will eventually house some 20 casino-hotels.
Wynn Macau was the second US gaming venue and the first integrated casino and hotel resort to open. The island's casinos pulled in us$ 7.2 billion in revenue last year, outstripping us$ 6.6 billion reported in Las Vegas, to become the world's biggest casino draw.
Apart from Crown Macau, the Melco-PBL consortium is also planning a large integrated resort to be known as the 'City of Dreams', due to open in late 2008. The joint venture had also acquired a site on the Macau Peninsula on which a third hotel and casino project will be developed for a 2009 opening.