Genting said this week its casino on the Miami waterfront would not be the largest in the world. But the dollars flowing through the facility are projected to set records.
Economic studies commissioned by the Malaysian company for its proposed Resorts World Miami show the casino generating as much as $2 billion a year in gambling revenue. That would easily make it the largest-grossing casino in the United States, but not as profitable as casinos in gambling-crazy Asia, according to industry reports and analysts.
The figures offer another measure of a proposed casino that has become the focus in Florida’s debate over expanding its gambling laws.
At a public forum on Monday, Genting dismissed past reports it wanted to build the largest casino in the world, revealing it only planned a gambling floor that would be one of the largest in the United States but would still be smaller than the massive casino resorts in Asia.
Resorts World Miami revenue is projected to be far ahead of the dollars generated by its counterparts in Las Vegas and Connecticut.
A November study by Spectrum Gaming estimated Resorts World would generate between $1.4 billion and $2 billion a year in gambling revenue. At $2 billion, the resort would clobber the highest-grossing casinos in Vegas ($747 million from a pair of adjoining Wynn hotels) and be ahead of the country’s largest casinos — two Indian resorts in Connecticut that generate about $1 billion each, according to figures from Nathan Associates and Susquehanna International Group, two research firms that track the casino industry.
But Resorts World would not compete with the revenue coming out of large casinos in Asia, where gambling is a passion, especially among the wealthy. The Wynn Macau tops the revenue list at about $4.5 billion a year.
Genting hasn’t released the detailed economic impact studies behind the numbers. It faces the delicate task of pushing for a resort large enough to generate billions in economic activity but not so big it might scare off supporters.
On Tuesday, Tony Villamil, a Miami economist hired to help write one of the studies, said the final results were on hold as Genting rethinks the size of the project.
“They’re willing to accommodate the community,’’ he said. “The economic impacts are going to change depending on the size of the project.”
Genting issued a statement Tuesday reaffirming the initial revenue range, adding that a high-end casino resort “in an international city like Miami will attract the world’s highest-caliber tourists.”
Source: Miami Herald