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Resorts World Las Vegas Gains Licensing Approval From Nevada Gaming Commission

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Resorts World Las Vegas and parent company Genting Berhad PTD have received licensing approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission.
  • The $4.3 billion USD, 3,506 room property will open on June 24, 2020.
  • Resorts World will offer Hilton branded hotel accommodations and a 117,000 square foot casino with a sportsbook operated in-house.

The post COVID reopening of Las Vegas continues apace and on June 24 the city will have a massive new casino resort to celebrate. That’s when Resorts World Las Vegas will open to the general public. The $4.3 billion USD property is located at 3000 South Las Vegas Boulevard–the former location of the Stardust Resort & Casino. The iconic Stardust was closed and imploded by owners Boyd Gaming to make room for a mega-resort called ‘Echelon’. Unfortunately, the timing was all wrong and the ‘Great Recession’ and meltdown of the Las Vegas real estate market prevented Echelon from being built. The property has been dormant since the Stardust closed on November 1, 2006 and longtime Las Vegans are happy to see the big swath of empty Strip space come to life once again. Resorts World will be the first new Strip property to open in more than a decade–since The Cosmopolitan debuted on December 15, 2010.

On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved licensing for Resorts World parent company Genting Berhad PTD and the company’s top executives involved in the Las Vegas project. At the top of the list was Chairman Kok Thay (KT) Lim and Chief Financial Officer Poy Yong Koh who participated in a virtual hearing with the commission from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where it was 4 AM local time. For Genting, the hearing went without a hitch–not a huge surprise since they had already presented to the Nevada Gaming Control Board as per the state’s bifurcated gaming regulatory system. The commissioners asked plenty of questions but none were adversarial–it was almost as if they were part of a media promotional effort. Among other topics, commissioners heard Genting officers talk about the company’s relationship with the Hilton hotel chain. Hilton will provide the three brands for the accommodations at Resorts World–Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords. Commissioners also asked about Genting’s charitable endeavors and the technology in the building that will provide superior indoor airflow.

Chairmain Lim talked specifically about Genting’s philanthropic efforts. In Malaysia, the company’s charitable work focuses on education but the primary focus in Las Vegas will be toward Alzheimer’s research:

“This being our largest undertaking in the U.S., of course we have to defer to my local team in terms of coming up with how we’re going to approach the group’s efforts for the benefit of the Vegas community. We did speak on Alzheimer’s being very close to my heart.”

In Las Vegas, Resorts World President Scott Sibella and his team also fielded questions. Sibella talked about the building’s air filtration system which was a major priority even before the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Like I mentioned, health and safety was our top priority before the pandemic even happened. Working in this industry for so long, we’ve talked about how we want to have the best air quality money can buy. When we set up in this property, there will be no smoke lingering so it’s going to be safe air.”

Sibella also talked about future plans for the remainder of the property as only two-thirds of the available land owned by Genting has been used:

“The chairman’s dream and the company’s goal is to always add rooms. We know we have the land and we built purposely with these open areas where we could build more rooms, more attractions and then, of course, COVID hit so we kind of put that on the side and concentrated on getting this in on time and on budget.”

“But I think when we get up and running, we’ll always be open to listen to ideas and things like that, but the plan is to add more rooms and create a city within a city and, again, more attractions.”

Resorts World currently operates two gaming properties in New York though on a much smaller scale than the Las Vegas resort. Resorts World Las Vegas will add just over 3,500 rooms to the city’s inventory along with a 117,000-square-foot casino with 1,400 slot machines and 117 table games. Additionally, the property will offer 300,000 square feet of meeting space; two levels of retail with 22 stores; and a 5,000-seat performance venue that will open with Celine Dion in November. Perhaps the best news is that Resorts World Las Vegas will operate their sportsbook in house with retail and mobile wagering. Hopefully, it’ll provide a much needed boost for the stagnant Las Vegas sportsbook scene.

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