HONG KONG, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Macau riot police were called in to calm down 120 angry Chinese tourists on a wind-swept beach who had protested angrily to tour guides over an itinerary too packed with shopping.
Around two dozen police with batons and riot shields faced off with the tourists from China's Hubei province for nearly five hours on Tuesday night in the booming casino enclave of Macau, Hong Kong cable television and the Apple Daily newspaper said.
The tourists, pushing and struggling with policemen who detained two men and a three women, protested that the tour guides had taken them to too many shops and pressured them into buying things.
The argument erupted after the tour guides took the group to the beach, and the tourists, complaining of cold, could not reboard their four locked coaches, the Apple Daily reported.
Police arrived on the scene and called for reinforcements, and the stand-off ended when the tourists were persuaded to go to a hotel.
Macau, the only place in gambling-mad China where casinos are legal, has seen annual visitor arrivals double since 2003, when the Chinese government began to loosen restrictions on individual travel. Some 22 million people visited the former Portuguese-run enclave last year.
Since a gaming monopoly expired in 2002, U.S. gaming firms including Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts have rushed in to set up giant casinos, with Las Vegas-style shopping arcades and entertainment complexes attached.
But some analysts doubt the extra attractions will catch on with Chinese visitors, who like to gamble solidly night and day.
(Reporting by Dominic Whiting, editing by Nick Macfie)