Representatives showed off plans for Resorts World Miami that will reside on a 13.9-acre parcel of land facing Biscayne Bay where the Miami Herald office building currently sits and which Genting bought for $236 million this past May.
The future resort will have four hotel towers hosting 5,200 rooms, two 1,000-unit condos, a convention center, a shopping arcade, plus 50 restaurants and nightclubs.
Also included are plans for a two-story casino offering slot machines and video poker, plus all table games including blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat, but, there is one problem with the plan as casino resorts are not yet legal in Florida. The company, however, hopes that the Florida legislature will legalize them within the next few years while the property is under construction.
Miami casinos have limited gaming options because state laws only allow electronic gaming machines at pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Additionally, the state has a compact with the Seminole Tribe that allows them to offer machines as well as some table games such as blackjack and baccarat. No casinos in Florida offer live versions of craps or roulette.
“The Genting proposal creates a unique policy decision for state lawmakers that will require balance between generating substantial state revenue and creating a competitive environment where the destination casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and Seminole Tribe can prosper,” said gaming law expert John Lockwood.
“If destination casinos are approved in the next year or two, they’ll build it all at once, within three to five years,” said Genting representative Tadd Schwartz. “If not, they’ll build it as the market demands, and take 10 to 15 years.”
Genting officials believe the project could create up to 15,000 construction jobs and employ up to 30,000 workers in the long-term.