MGM Resorts is opening a lavish multibillion-dollar casino resort in Macau, in the latest big bet by foreign gambling companies on the southern Chinese gambling haven.
The launch of the new 3.5 billion dollar MGM Cotai resort is a high-stakes wager on the casino market’s future in the former Portuguese colony, where gambling licences expire in as little as two years.
The new resort is Nevada-based MGM’s second in the tiny Chinese enclave but the first on the Cotai Strip, an Asian version of the Las Vegas Strip which is the epicentre for extravagant new casino expansion projects.
The opening was delayed by damage from Typhoon Hato in August, which killed 10 people.
Many of the atrium roof’s triangular glass panels still had cracks caused by the storm’s high winds but casino representatives said they were safe because only the outer of five glass layers was damaged.
Macau is the world’s biggest gambling market and the only place in China where casinos are legal. But uncertainty looms as licences for the city’s six casino operators are due to start expiring in 2020, with MGM’s among the first.
“I have no answers but I have a lot of trust” that the government will renew MGM’s licence, Mr Murren said.
“Sometimes you have to have a leap of faith,” he said in an interview. “We feel we are the kind of company that the government would like to see here.”
Macau chief executive Chui Sai-on has said mid-2018 would be an appropriate time to provide details.