Genting's south Florida plan would be sped up by gaming
Genting last month purchased the Miami Herald building and the 140 acres of waterfront land surrounding it for $236 million and announced plans for Resorts World Miami, a multi-purpose complex that will include a luxury hotel, convention and entertainment centers, restaurants, retail and commercial and residential real estate, and, potentially, gaming. The company, whose holdings include Resorts World Genting in Malaysia, Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, and over 40 casinos in the UK, also owns 50 percent of Norwegian Cruise Lines which operates from the port of Miami.
Mike Speller, the New York-based president of Genting's Resorts World U.S. subsidiary, told Reuters the project will go ahead whether or not Florida changes its gaming laws, but the casino element is the driver of Genting's business plan, and a green light for commercial casinos would step up development, which is currently forecast to take up to 20 years. "It would certainly shorten the period greatly that we would be able to build out the entire project because there would be that much more momentum,” said Speller.
Genting, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands have each lobbied for liberalization of Florida’s casino gaming development. A bill that would have allowed for up to five full-scale casino resorts in the state made it to the Senate floor earlier this year but was withdrawn after amendments were attached that would have lowered tax rates at the state’s existing racetrack gaming facilities.