Waterfront Resort May Bring Gambling to Miami


Waterfront Resort May Bring Gambling to Miami

Multi-billion dollar project in downtown could bring Vegas-style gaming
A multi-billion dollar project in downtown Miami is expected to bring plenty of construction and permanent jobs to South Florida — at a price.

The $3 billion project, on the site of the Miami Herald’s 14 acre waterfront property, might bring gambling to Miami, changing the city for better or for worse.

KT Lim, the chairman of Singapore-based Genting Group, is the man who wants to bring casino gambling to the Magic City.

Lim hosted a reception Thursday with local business leaders and politicians, where he said he first came to Miami as a college student and now hopes to bring Vegas-style gambling.

“I fell in love with Miami and have come back many, many times,” Lim said.

Full, Las Vegas-style gambling is already available on nearby Native American Reservations, and there’s limited gambling at dog tracks and through the Florida Lottery.

But some downtown power brokers think gambling should be in the city of Miami too. And Genting will need these movers and shakers to get state lawmakers to allow Miami the path to gambling.

“I’m ready and I hope it happens,” Rep. Ari Porth, from Northwest Broward, said about the proposal, adding simply “It’s jobs.”

Mayor Tomas Regalado is on board too. He was asked whether the company asked him for help in lobbying the state legislature to change gambling laws.

“They didn’t ask but I offered my support,” Regalado said.

The $3 billion mix-use development sits amid a cavalcade of attractions, including AmericanAirlines Arena, new museums, the Arsht Center and freeway access. The land was bought from the Herald for $239 million after very quick negotiations.

Michael Speller, president of Resorts World, a subsidiary of Genting, said the company would have launched the project even if new casino gambling would never have been allowed.

“We are going to do this project whether gaming is legalized or not,” Speller said. “If legislation goes forward, this project will happen a lot quicker.”

Glitzy Miami architectural firm Architectonica has been chosen to design the development.

Politicians say they could begin lobbying for legalized gambling in the next legislative session.

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