Genting Given Green Light To Develop $4B Resorts World Vegas Project
Officials from the Nevada Gaming Control Board have recommended Genting Berhad, the investment arm of Malaysian gambling giants Genting Group, be given a preliminary finding of suitability to hold a state gaming license, effectively giving Genting a green light to build a $4 billion Asian-themed resort on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Genting announced its plans to build Resorts World Las Vegas in March 2013 after purchasing the 87-acre Echelon Place from Boyd Gaming for $350 million. Boyd Gaming had planned a six-hotel complex on the site of the former Stardust casino, but the project was shelved in August 2008 – after less than 18-months of building work — due to effects of the recession and has laid rusting in the Nevada sun ever since.
Resorts World Las Vegas will use up to 85 per cent of the defunct Echelon development and is set to include a Chinese-themed 3,500-room hotel, a 175,000 sq.ft casino that will be the home to 3,500 slot machines and table games, 30 food and beverage outlets and a 4,000 seat theatre.
Other attractions include a replica of the Great Wall of China, a 50,000 square foot, 58-foot tall aquarium and a rooftop sky park and observation deck at the top of a 674-foot-tall tower. There are also plans for a live panda enclosure although the Chinese government has strict guidelines in place for the protection of the endangered species.
This initial phase is set to cost Genting around $4 billion and is estimated to take between 24 and 36 months to complete, with a 20th Century Fox World studio theme park expected to open to the general public some time in 2016.
It is estimated that during development, Genting will pay $1.5 billion in wages to construction workers and generate $84 million in taxes as a result of creating over 11,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will discuss Genting’s development at a second meeting scheduled to take place on May 22. Genting would have to apply for and be granted a fully gaming license before Resorts World Las Vegas could begin operations, but obtaining such a license should not be a problem due to the group’s glowing reputation, solid financial footing and the fact the Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett revealing he nor the other board members have any concerns about anyone connected to Genting’s license application.
The Genting Group collected $5.2 billion in revenue in 2013 and has more than $5 billion in cash on hand, while its long-term debt stands at only $3 billion. Compare that to Caesars Entertainment’s net debt of $23 billion and you get some idea into how well-run the company is.
The company also has casino operations in New York, Singapore, Philippines, Manila and Malaysia in addition to having substantial investments in energy production, oil and gas exploration, life science research and property development.
Genting’s Chairman, KT Lim, said about the project: “Our goal at Resorts World Las Vegas is to complement existing properties and bring a new and unique entertainment destination to the Las Vegas Strip. Our themed resort will cater to the high-end visitor as well as the budget-minded tourist. We will give first-time guests a new reason to visit Las Vegas and other tourists a great reason to return. Today represents a big step forward for our development, and we are excited to move forward with our plans.”