Genting To Sell Miami Property After State Thwarts Casino Plans

Written By Sam Hollingsworth on December 21, 2022
Casino operator hopes to fetch $1B for Miami property

Resort and hospitality powerhouse Genting Group is looking to sell one of the last pieces of undeveloped waterfront property in Miami – and is looking to fetch more than $1 billion for it.

Plans were to build $3B casino resort on property

All Florida casinos are owned and operated by Native American tribes. The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns six of the seven casinos in Florida. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians owns one in Miami. Those two tribes essentially have exclusivity over Las Vegas-style gaming.

There are dozens of pari-mutuel facilities located throughout the state that offer other forms of betting. However, the state granted the tribes a monopoly on games like blackjack and baccarat.

A building housing the Miami Herald, which Genting demolished in 2014, once sat on the property. The nearly 16-acre parcel on Biscayne Bay had been the planned site for a $3 billion casino resort. But the state of Florida would not grant the license for it nor its multiple surrounding buildings that would have included hotels and residential properties.

Former Miami Herald headquarters is demolished in 2014.
Demolition on the south wing of the former headquarters of the Miami Herald in Miami on April 30, 2014. Genting, a Malaysian casino company, purchased the waterfront property in May 2011 for $236 million. Photo by Alan Diaz/Associated Press

Genting was hoping to expand its American footprint in the gambling industry when it purchased the property at 1431 N. Bayshore Drive in 2011. The long delays in Miami have caused the company to shift its plans. It opened Resorts World Las Vegas casino for more than $4 billion in 2021.

Genting paid $236 million for the Miami land. The land sits near music and art venues on the water, as well as the Genting-owned Omni Center. It’s the home of the Hilton Miami Downtown hotel, offices and a parking lot. It is also the site of bus and Metromover stations for public transportation.

Company now focusing on NYC and Vegas

Malaysia-based Genting owns and operates casinos in the US, Malaysia and Singapore. That includes its Resorts World casino in Queens, New York City’s only casino. It offers only electronic games, or video lottery terminals, at the former site of the iconic Aqueduct Racetrack.

And it’s no secret why Genting is selling the Miami property — which makes up more than half of the gaming division of Genting’s holdings — and where the company’s focus will shift toward.

It has plans to sell the Miami property to acquire additional resources for other casino ventures. That could include opening or expanding one in or around New York City in 2023. There will be three licenses awarded in downstate New York next year. Most expect the state to give New York City at least one of those licenses.

Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East, recently told Bloomberg the company’s future plans.

“In the coming months, we will be marshaling our resources with the goal of bringing a full commercial casino to our New York City property and expanding our already-tremendous offerings in Las Vegas. We are thrilled about the opportunities to expand in the two most significant gaming markets in North America.”

It’s likely that Genting’s investment in the Resorts World New York City casino would exceed $1 billion if it were to obtain one of the downstate operating licenses, according to Bloomberg.

Still, Genting has reportedly not completely given up its plans on a casino in Miami. It would build one most likely on its 10-acre Omni Center property if granted a license.

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Sam Hollingsworth

Sam is a native New Yorker with a long history of sports betting as well as watching, wagering, and owning racehorses, and, of course, casino-frequenting. He enjoys visiting sporting venues — anything from the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to any baseball game regardless of the level of play or length of the drive to get there, and any horse racing venue. Sam is a marketing executive, father, and dog owner with a zest for life and love for exploring.

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