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Golden casinos

THE PORTUGUESE casino group Estoril Sol, which has three casinos in Lisbon, Estoril and at Póvoa near Porto, representing two-thirds of the country’s casino market, celebrates its 50th anniversary on June 25.

Owned by billionaire Macau property businessman Stanley Ho, its flagship casino in Estoril has billed top names over the past 20 years in its 1,000 capacity Black and Silver Room, including Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Tony Bennett, Montserrat Caballe, Woody Allen, Lionel Ritchie and Ray Charles.

The venue boasts the 600 capacity Jezebel nightclub, Europe’s largest slot machine area (1,200 machines) paying out five million euro daily jackpots, the Casino Estoril Art Gallery, a 340-capacity Auditorium Theatre for small/medium-sized concerts, plays and shows, a Panoramic Foyer for hired events, the 500 capacity Bar Americano and Du Arte lounge, 140 capacity Zeno Lounge, and the 140 capacity Madarim Chinese restaurant.

The company’s 111 million euro Lisbon Casino inaugurated in 2006, aimed at the 25-40 age groups, includes the rotating Arena Lounge multipurpose stage, Gourmet Restaurant, 120 capacity fusion Japanese/Portuguese restaurant, 1,000 slot machines on two floors and 22 gaming tables.

The 634 capacity, state-of-the-art Oceanos Auditorium with a 150m2 stage, boasts 22 sound columns, 16 sub-graves, 16 surround columns, 35 60,000 watt digital DSP 130 dB amplifiers, 236 projectors, 40 robot projectors, 320 dimmer canals and a DMX Ethernet network.

Featured artists and shows include STOMP, MOMIX, Aluminum, Natalie Choquette, Mariza, Barbara Hendricks, Stacey Kent and Ute Lemper.

The Group’s president Mário Assis Ferreira said the company, which annually generates nearly 250 million euros, “had played a fundamental role in Portuguese society in terms of art and culture.”