Colony stood in great need. I pondered over the idea for a long time,
and the longer I thought the greater became my ambition. It occurred to
me that a casino and hotel combined might prove a still more profitable
proposition—if one could work it.
the idea of an up-to-date casino had taken hold of me, I began to
elaborate on the original scheme, till within a few days of its first
conception I could already see in my mind's eye the Monte Carlo of the
Far East, with myself in the role of M. Blanc. All the conditions
likely to make for success appeared to be present: the position of the
place was analogous, topographically, to that of Monte Carlo, the
climate salubrious, the vegetation luxuriant, the scenery beautiful.
There was a romantic bit of history attached to the place, sufficient
of Old Portugal left to attract tourists. But in addition to all these
advantages, the nearness to two of the wealthiest Chinese
provinces—Kwangsi and Kwantung—and Macao's equidistance from Hong Kong
and Canton promised to make it the Mecca of all gamblers in that part
of the world, as well as a haven for those merely desiring rest and a
change of scene.
was privately informed that the Macao Government was only too anxious
to stop the opium traffic altogether, if some other equally productive
means of revenue could be found. Everything seemed propitious. I
studied the matter from all angles, and could find no snag in it. Here
was a grand opportunity for organizing something really big. I amused
myself by working out the whole thing in all its aspects, down to the
minutest detail. And almost unawares I soon found myself in a position
to broach the subject to the authorities in Macao.
knew by this time a sufficiently large number of wealthy Chinese in
Hong Kong, Canton and in North China who, I was sure, would give the
proposition their financial backing, and had sufficient faith and
confidence in me to leave the organizing in my hands. I spoke to an
engineer and architect friend of mine, and described to him what I had
in mind, and then sent him to survey the estate and existing buildings.