updated 6/27/2007 6:23:18 PM ET 2007-06-27T22:23:18

Hugh Hefner is planning to open a Playboy Mansion in the burgeoning gambling mecca of Macau, complete with female "bunny" dealers, a villa-style hotel and several dozen gaming tables, his daughter said.

The 40,000-square-foot Playboy Mansion Macau, scheduled to open in late 2009, will give Hefner's company a key foothold in China after a failed attempt several years ago to build a club in Shanghai, which some blamed on the Chinese government's conservative line on public morality.

Macau, located an hour by high-speed ferry from Hong Kong, has seen its gambling revenue grow rapidly since the government ended a monopoly in 2002, letting in Las Vegas casino brands like Wynn, Sands and Venetian.

As the only place on Chinese soil where gambling is legal, Macau draws many tourists from the mainland who can't bet at home. It overtook the Las Vegas strip in gaming revenue last year.

"Asia ... is a very important region for us," Christie Hefner, head of Playboy Enterprises Inc., told reporters Tuesday.

The company is attempting to rebound after reporting a loss in 2005 and earning profits of only $2.3 million in 2006. Christie Hefner said 40 percent of the $800 million made in retail consumer sales last year came from Asia.

The Playboy Mansion Macau, styled after the original Playboy Mansion in the U.S., will follow the company's planned opening of a club at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas in October. Christie Hefner declined to say how much the new mansion will cost.

Plans for Playboy's Shanghai club fell apart in 2004 ostensibly over a disagreement between investors and local officials over how to value the amount of the investment, although some questioned whether it had to do with the company's racy reputation.

While Playboy can sell men's clothing in China, its magazine is officially banned.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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