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Control Board recommends licensing for Resorts World Las Vegas

Updated May 5, 2021 - 5:27 pm

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday recommended licensing approval for Resorts World Las Vegas and its Genting Berhad PTC parent company.

The unanimously approved recommendation will be considered for final approval May 20 by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Board members questioned Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella in Las Vegas and Genting Chairman Kok Thay (KT) Lim in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — where it was around 3 a.m. Thursday — in a virtual hearing.

Lim discussed Genting’s history and corporate diversity while Sibella detailed the $4.3 billion, 3,506-room Strip resort, the first to open in more than a decade, on June 24.

“The background is outstanding, the company is incredible, financials are great and ratios are outstanding,” Board Chairman Brin Gibson said at the conclusion of the presentation that featured two PowerPoint slideshows. “I have nothing but praise for this application. I have no concerns.”

Brittnie Watkins, in her first meeting as a board member, remarked about seeing Resorts World Las Vegas’ debut commercial as part of the Oscars awards show on April 25 and how much she enjoyed seeing it again during the PowerPoint presentation.

“I think you guys have some great things going on,” Watkins said.

The opening of Resorts World Las Vegas will come about 50 years after the first Resorts World-branded resort, a 200-room hotel known at the time as Genting Highlands, Lim said.

“We have since grown into an international conglomerate,” Lim said, “and this will be a truly remarkable moment in the group’s history.

“Our founder would have been truly proud of the resort we have built in Las Vegas,” he said, “and to bring a new and unique entertainment destination to the Las Vegas Strip and showcase what has made the Resorts World brand a globally recognized success.”

The Resorts World Oscars ad has tipped off the resort’s entertainment lineup with the television commercial featuring singers Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Celine Dion, and DJs Tiësto and Zedd.

Board member Phil Katsaros, who recently toured Resorts World, said the technology that will be used in the resort would be welcomed by property guests.

“My socks were knocked off,” Katsaros said of his visit. “And the advertisement you produced, the marketing department knocked it out of the park.”

In addition to a 100,000-square-foot video display wall on the West Tower facade, the company will have keyless entry to its rooms, touch-free check-ins, cashless transaction points and an animated baccarat machine that will be making its Las Vegas debut.

Other technological highlights are a 50-foot video globe and an AI-powered personal concierge called Red.

Sibella offered new details about Resorts World’s 5,000-seat concert venue that won’t open until fall. It’ll have one of the Strip’s largest stages at 196 feet wide and 64 feet deep, a 123-by-50-foot proscenium opening, three independent stage lifts totaling 576 square feet capable of lifting 86,400 pounds, a lighting package with 300 moving fixtures and four robotic spotlights, an audio system with 265 speakers, and 5,000 square feet of configurable LED screens that can be programmed with original content.

The farthest seat from the stage is 150 feet away.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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