Las Vegas Sun

December 18, 2014

Currently: 47° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Miami resort developer out to siphon off Vegas visitors

A top executive with Malaysian-based gaming giant Genting Group said his company is taking dead aim at Las Vegas with its plans to build a multibillion-dollar casino resort in Miami, where it hopes to create a market that would capture one-third of the estimated 13 million East Coast tourists who visit the Strip annually.

Colin Au, president of Genting Americas, told The Miami Herald that major casino resorts in Miami would lure high-stakes gamblers from the East Coast and Texas and away from Las Vegas, snatching $1 billion to $2 billion in annual revenue from Southern Nevada.

The Harvard Business School-educated Au told The Herald that if Miami International Airport operators are unable to schedule non-stop flights from Asia to Miami, Genting is "prepared to bankroll and subsidize some of the flights."

"We will tell China Eastern, or Air China, that we will guarantee 50 percent of the seats," he said.

Genting and Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands operate Singapore's two giant gaming properties in a market that is projected to surpass Las Vegas next year for the No. 2 revenue spot among the world's largest gaming markets, trailing only Macau. Representatives of the two companies have lobbied Florida lawmakers much of this year to pass legislation that would permit the opening of the South Florida gaming properties.

Genting is prepared to open a temporary casino in downtown Miami within four months of receiving a casino license, Au said.

"We are not after the little old lady in Hialeah with $25," he told said. "We are after New Yorkers with thousands."

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 8 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Sounds good for Miami. Six hour flights from Europe. An ocean instead of a dessert. No state income tax. Boy, somebody has been using their thinking cap out there.

  2. Look at history. Before the downturn many cities/states across the country and world started adding casinos. Everyone said Vegas was doomed.

    Well, during the good times with them building all these casinos around the world Vegas just kept getting busier and bigger.

    People got a taste at their local home town casino and wanted to come to Vegas. It still happens.

    Vegas is down some but still improving over the last few years. As they build more casinos around the world/country people will get the taste and want to come to Vegas.

    Wish them luck in Florida but all they are going to do is give those folks a taste of the Casino life and they will then come to Vegas to experience the real thing.

    This is great advertising for Las Vegas and we don't have to pay for it! ;-)

    History and facts back that up.

  3. There is nothing like Las Vegas and never will be. The city has many other non gaming activities from world class dinning and shopping to shows and clubs. You can gamble almost anywhere now so according to the nay sayers there should be nobody here but locals. Wrong thinking!

  4. Get this through your head locals. Vegas as we all know it is DEAD.

    Ever since properties decided to cater to 20 something douchebags instead of the gamblers it's gone downhill.

    How did this strategy work out for cosmo? Hotel at almost full capacity, food and beverage sales amazingly high, club revenue amazing. Yet they still lost MILLIONS last quarter, and the one prior.

    My Last Trip to Vegas was 3 weeks ago and it will be my last for a long time. I will take my money to Reno where they still appreciate the gambler.

    Vegas has become a joke among the old timers. The only ones going there are the kids with little to no money who brag about the $500.00 bottle of grey goose they bought. Meanwhile my friends and I spend 4 times that on 1 hand at a blackjack table.

    No one seems to get it... Eventually they will be forced to.

    Either remove the clubs, or lose your gambling base. You can't have both.

  5. @chazbean

    Exactly. 6/5 BJ odds, tight slots, poor cocktail service, drunk idiots everywhere puking on the floors (even at high end joints).

    Comps are horrid for the mid level gambler.

    There is no appeal to Vegas anymore. It has nothing special.

    Sub par gambling, clubs, and overpriced food exist nearly everywhere in the world.

  6. Good pitch coming out of the gate. The suspicion of Colin Au statement is there is something in his cross hair his in not telling us?

    The obvious, on the surface, is Colin Au is looking for more support fromthe Maimi community, which includes policy makers on board. Plus, he is trying to create a buzz, an excitement to draw investors. Yes, millionares and billiionare do not use their money, they use other people's money. And more importantly to Colin Au, he is after some kind of bond initiative to paid for the infrasture that will be needed to construction such a project.

    Not bad, but this guy has a long way to go to challenge Las Vegas, both in experience and in travel. This actually helps the marketing of Las Vegas. Good job Colin Au!

  7. So where do they think their going to build these big hotels in Miami? All the beachfront space is already built up. Hotels in the Everglades perhaps?
    And when did Miami get full gaming? The racetracks have been converted to slot parlors and maybe a few table games. The Hard Rock has a casino on Seminole property way out in western Broward county but I'm not sure that even has full gaming.

  8. ....dont blame anyone for what has happened...just make it better....Las Vegas doesn't work anymore because what you dont need is another pole dancer... strip joint ...nude pool... and another hotel casino....Miami has beaches.. cruise ships... Disney World for the kiddies...great deep sea fishing..great night life... concert halls...professional football.. basketball and baseball and a very diversified population... Miami has it all...and now icing on the cake at long last ..."Casino Gambling".....no matter how many times people have said Las Vegas needs to diversify...they always go back to the same old same old...and its not enough...even Steve Wynn is leaving Las Vegas...what does that tell you...time to grow up Las Vegas....how many lap dancers can you get before you look somewhere else.....too bad....