Malaysian casino operator Genting Group is taking a $4.3bn (£3bn) bet on Las Vegas as it opens a huge new resort in the US gambling capital today.
Resorts World Las Vegas is the most expensive resort ever developed in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas saw visitor numbers slump by more than 50% last year as casinos were forced to close their doors for three months due to coronavirus restrictions.
Tourists are now returning but numbers remain well below 2019 levels.
Covering almost 88 acres, the new resort has 3,500 hotel rooms and suites, a 5,000-seat theatre, and one of the world’s biggest LED screens on one of its towers. It is the biggest new property on the city’s famous Strip in over a decade.
Genting has partnered with US hospitality giant Hilton Worldwide, which has three hotels in the resort.
It is hoped that the new attraction will prove to be a major boost for Las Vegas, which was hit hard by measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 last year.
The city saw visitor numbers jump over 15% between March and April this year but those numbers are still more than 27% lower than the same period in 2019, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said.
The move also comes as many big casino operators focus on Asia. Las Vegas was overtaken by Macau as the world’s biggest gambling center in 2007.
Like Las Vegas, the so-called ‘Monte Carlo of the East’ was hit hard by the pandemic last year but attracted almost 40m visitors in 2019, predominantly from mainland China and Hong Kong.
- Macau gambles on tech for its Covid-19 recovery
- Auction to dynamite former Trump casino kicks off
- World’s biggest gambling hub reopens for business
Genting Group is also currently hoping to develop a major resort in Japan’s Yokohama City, with its Singapore unit leading a bid by a consortium of major Japanese companies.
The company, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has operations around the world, including China, the US, India, and the UK.