Resorts World Las Vegas given green light to open

By Noah Taylor Updated
Resorts World Las Vegas given green light to open

Malaysian gambling operator Genting and its senior executives have been given the all clear to run a casino business in Las Vegas at the new $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas.

GGR Asia reports that the Nevada Gaming Commission has approved the takeover.

Lim Koy Thay, Genting’s chairman and Scott Sibella, the new property’s president, were among executives found suitable to be directors of Resorts World Las Vegas Holdings.

The 59-storey project will be the first all-new casino hotel to open on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade, following the 2010 opening of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The property features 10,870 square metres of gaming space, with poker machines, table games, a dedicated poker room, high-limit areas and a sportsbook.

Resorts World Las Vegas will offer an aggregate of 3,500 rooms at its three hotels, under the brands Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords.

Due to open in 2021, the resort is expected to reach its full earnings potential by the end of 2024, according to Fitch Ratings.

Resorts World Las Vegas to provide welcome boost to casino industry

The institution added that Resorts World Las Vegas was “on track” to open its resort in the Nevada gaming hub, “in around June 2021”.

But Fitch added: “The pandemic is likely to delay operational ramp-up, as we expect inbound flights and demand for large-scale conventions in Las Vegas to remain soft in 2021.”

The ratings house noted: “We estimate aggregate revenue for Las Vegas’s strip operators will only recover to 90 per cent of 2019, by end-2023, and expect Resorts World Las Vegas to reach fully ramped-up EBITDA of US$350 million by end-2024.”

Fitch said it had assigned a ‘BBB’ rating to proposed senior unsecured notes to be issued by Resorts World Las Vegas LLC and RWLV Capital Inc as a co-issuer.

“The company plans to use the proceeds to refinance existing secured debt,” noted Fitch.

The ‘negative’ outlook on the proposed Resorts World Las Vegas notes, which was “aligned with that on the Genting parent”, captures the risk of a slower gaming recovery from the coronavirus pandemic impact than we forecast, such that Genting’s leverage is elevated for an extended period, Fitch said.

The Vegas economy shows signs of slow and steady recovery after a severe pandemic-induced slump.

The most recent airport numbers show an uptick in passenger travel.

More visitors began to enter casinos in May, with the Gaming Control Board permitting Las Vegas casinos to begin operating at 80 per cent capacity on May 1.

The social distancing requirement has been reduced from six feet to three feet, but masks are still required.

The post-pandemic optimism is also being reflected in construction projects on the Strip.

The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, the most expensive hotel casino in the area’s history, is slated to open on June 24 at the site of the now demolished Stardust Casino.

Resorts World is the first new hotel casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan began operating in December 2010.

The Clark County Commission has given developer Jackie Robinson approval to move ahead with a long-delayed hotel and entertainment complex in a vacant 27-acre location at the northeast end of the resort corridor.

Other projects on the Strip include renovations at Sahara Las Vegas and a proposal to build a multi level retail and restaurant complex on two acres at CityCentre.

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