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The IDB Group, controlled by Nochi Dankner, is exploring the possibility of joining American real estate mogul Sheldon Adelson in his venture to turn Macau into the Chinese Las Vegas.

Adelson, ranked by Forbes as one of the 400 richest people in the U.S., won a state tender to turn Macau, the former Portuguese colony south of Hong Kong, into a gambling mecca.

The Cotai Strip, which Adelson will develop, is expected to include casinos, hotels, commercial properties and conference centers. Adelson has already set up hotels and his own casino based on his Las Vegas flagship, Venetian, in Macau at a cost of $1.8 billion.

Macau and Hong Kong have both been granted privileged status by the Chinese government, under their system of "one country, two systems," which helped solve the problem of subsuming the former colonies with strong capitalist backgrounds under their former (respective) Portuguese and British colonial powers.

A month ago Adelson announced that he was investing a further $1 billion in additional area near Macau.

Haaretz has learned that Dankner together with representatives of his IDB Group met with Adelson and his people in Macau some two months ago.