$4 billion Resorts World licensing looks like a sure thing

The next phase of Las Vegas starts today in, of all places, the Sawyer Building.

Nearly a dozen representatives and executives from Genting Berhad, the Malaysia-based company that acquired the unfinished Echelon project on the Strip for $350 million 14 months ago, will face questions from the Gaming Control Board.

The corporation and several of its entities seek a finding of suitability from Nevada casino authorities. Genting wants to build the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas on the largely vacant 87-acre parcel and will proceed after it receives approval.

State gaming agents spent much of the past year investigating the multifaceted corporation, traveling to Malaysia, Singapore, London and New York. It might be the agency’s most expensive and largest probe ever.

The Echelon parcel once was home to the long-demolished Stardust. Genting’s project would result in the Strip’s first new megaresort in nearly a decade. Construction will incorporate much of the unfinished Echelon, which was shut down in 2008.

The hearing at the downtown state office building could take more than two hours. Expect an elaborate presentation on both the company and Resorts World.

If there are any issues with the application, they will be minor. The hearing will be thorough, and a comprehensive regulatory record will be made.

The bottom line?

Short of Genting’s entire board of directors being found to have ties to the Yakuza or Chinese organized crime triads, the company and its representatives will be found suitable by both the Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission, which will review the recommendation May 22.

Take that prediction to the bank.

Construction on the complex will start this year and result in some 2,000 to 3,000 construction jobs.

In March, Gov. Brian Sandoval, Clark County officials and local business leaders joined Genting Chairman KT Lim and other company executives in an over-the-top news conference at the offices of architects Steelman Partners to announce Resort World Las Vegas.

Sandoval said two months ago Genting officials had kept him apprised on the progress toward restarting the development.

“I have every confidence that they are moving forward,” Sandoval said in March on the one-year anniversary of the announcement.

Genting is a well-financed operation.

The company has a market capitalization of more than $40 billion, operates casinos around the world, including Resorts World properties in Singapore, Malaysia and Manila, Philippines, and at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack. Genting has five separate publicly traded entities that operate casinos and other investments.

Genting isn’t shy about spending money in the United States.

A year before buying the Echelon site, Genting paid more than $400 million for 30 acres along Miami’s Biscayne Bay for the planned $3.8 billion Resorts World Miami, which was shelved after Florida lawmakers rejected casino expansion plans. The company is considering alternatives.

In April, Genting said it would bid on one of four casino licenses in upstate New York.

The company’s history and reputation might be one reason Sandoval hosted Lim and the Genting contingent on Labor Day weekend 2012 at the Star restaurant in Elko, where all dined on chorizo sandwiches. At the time, the company was considered its options.

Make no mistake, Sandoval wants Genting in Nevada and the unfinished Echelon site, a north Strip eyesore, made for a perfect development opportunity.

While the Resorts World Las Vegas site has sat seemingly untouched for more than a year, the company was working behind the scenes to move the project forward.

In a 2013 interview with Malaysian media, company officials stressed they wouldn’t move forward without completing the Nevada regulatory investigation, calling the process “one of the strictest you can get.”

Despite the conservative approach, Genting officials expressed confidence they would get a license and “commence the construction.”

Genting representatives today will offer elaborate details about Resorts World, maybe even repeating 2013’s suggestion that the development could include a live panda habitat.

A suitability finding is one step below licensing, which would have to be granted before the development opens in 2016 or 2017.

Either way, the next phase of Las Vegas growth and development opens today at the Sawyer Building.

Howard Stutz’s Inside Gaming column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like