MGM Resorts is all set to open its luxurious multibillion-dollar casino resort, MGM Cotai, in Macau, hailed as the gambling haven, in the latest big bet by foreign gambling companies.
The launching of $3.5 billion resort by the Nevada-based MGM Resorts International is a high-risk bet on the casino market's future in Macau, where gambling licenses expire in as little as two years.
James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts, told the company is taking a huge step with a lot of risks which he quoted as the “leap of faith” since it is not clear whether the government will extend its license even though officials have revealed little about the process.
The new resort, MGM Cotai, is MGM’s second venture in Macau but first on the Cotai Strip, an Asian version of the Las Vegas Strip which is now the capital for extravagant new casino expansion projects.
The resort is going to open soon, as the busy Lunar New Year holiday is coming forward when mainland Chinese tourists storm the place with rooms booked typically at high rates.
Cotai’s attractions include an art collection worth $13 million including 28 Qing Dynasty carpets, luxury shops, celebrity chefs and theatre shows.
Macau is the largest gambling market in the world and is the only place in China where casinos are legal. But uncertainty creeps into the gambling business as licenses for the city's six casino operators are due to start expiring in 2020, with MGM's among the first.
The government has not released any information about the license renewal process, the first since a monopoly ended in 2002, and gave way for foreign operators including Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.