Resorts World Las Vegas gets go-ahead for $4B megaresort

When the Malaysia-based Genting Group opens its $4 billion, 3,100-room Chinese-themed Resorts World Las Vegas property on the north end of the Strip in 2019 it will have a “celestial sphere” that will project visitor selfies.

That was one of the previews Genting executives shared Thursday with the Nevada Gaming Commission, which unanimously approved the licensing of executives and directors of the company that will build and run Southern Nevada’s next megaresort following a two-hour presentation and hearing.

Later in the meeting, commissioners also unanimously approved a settlement with Las Vegas Sands Corp. on a two-count complaint filed by the state Gaming Control Board. The meeting also was the first attended by new Reno-based commissioner Deborah Fuetsch.

Commissioners closely examined the corporate profile of Genting, an investment-grade gaming company with a global presence that should help it compete with top Strip properties.

Resorts World Genting in Malaysia is the company’s signature property, but the company also has resorts in the Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The company recently received approval from New York regulators to expand from 5,005 to 5,530 slot machines at Resorts World New York and the company has contracted to manage a property in Massachusetts in a partnership with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo noted that Genting is a diversified multinational company with operations in several highly regulated fields, including agriculture and healthcare as well as gaming and hospitality. Genting’s ability to navigate regulatory environments worldwide in diverse fields assured commissioners that the company’s executives would meet Nevada’s tough gaming standards.

Gerald Gardner, general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs for Resorts World Las Vegas, said by summer he expects construction cranes will become a part of the landscape where the Stardust and Westward Ho properties once stood.

Gardner explained the concept of the celestial sphere, which will flash images of guests momentarily — a feature the company expects will draw the attention of millennial customers.

The property also will have a Chinese garden that will be larger than Bellagio’s Conservatory and serve as a peaceful respite from the nearby 150,000-square-foot casino floor.

A row of restaurants will overlook the garden.