Genting Miami Land Sale Approved by Shareholders as Company Folds on Casino

Posted on: June 16, 2023, 01:11h. 

Last updated on: June 16, 2023, 01:24h.

Genting Malaysia shareholders on Thursday approved the company’s plans to sell its property in Miami for $1.225 billion.

Genting Miami land casino Florida Seminole
An aerial view of the land Genting Malaysia owns in downtown Miami. Genting is selling the largely undeveloped land for more than $1.2 billion. (Image: Forbes)

Genting Malaysia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Genting Group, a conglomerate that has holdings in resorts, casinos, energy production, and agriculture, became a significant landowner in the Miami region more than a decade ago when the firm acquired the property that formerly housed The Miami Herald.

Genting in May 2011 purchased about 14 acres of Biscayne Bay frontage for $236 million. Genting added to its Miami property in 2017 with another parcel adjacent to the Herald campus for $13 million.

Genting acquired the properties, which total about 15.5 acres, in preparation of Florida lawmakers moving to legalize commercial gaming and the welcoming of casino developers. Genting spent significantly lobbying state lawmakers to no avail.

After 12 years of holding on to the land without action, Genting is ceasing its Sunshine State ambitions. The company plans to use the profits to support its other gaming activities, both domestically and globally.

Shareholder Approval

Genting Malaysia held a special meeting on Thursday to ask shareholders about divesting the Miami property. Owners easily approved the proposal, with 979 shareholders representing nearly 3.6 million shares lending their support to the sale. Only 136 shareholders controlling about 746K shares voted against the transaction.

The buyer is an investment group led by the Terra Group, a South Florida-based commercial and residential real estate development company.

Genting made the nearly quarter of a billion-dollar bet on the hopes that the Seminole Tribe would lose its monopoly on Las Vegas-style casinos in Florida. Genting pitched state and local officials with an integrated resort scheme called Resorts World Miami, a forecasted $3 billion development that would have overhauled the Miami skyline.

Resorts World is Genting’s gaming arm. The company and its subsidiaries have Resorts World casinos in Las Vegas, New York, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Bahamas. Genting previously owned and operated an integrated resort in the Philippines.

Casinos Unwelcome

Genting offered substantial benefits to Miami in exchange for the city government pressing state lawmakers to terminate the Seminoles’ exclusivity on table games and slot machines outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Genting suggested it would finance the extension of the city’s monorail to Miami Beach if it were allowed to construct a casino.

Despite its best efforts to sweeten the pot, Genting’s wishes for commercial casinos to be legalized in Florida went unfruitful.

New York Concentration

With its plans to exit Miami coming to completion, Genting officials say the company will use the proceeds to achieve its integrated resort goals in New York City. Genting Malaysia owns and operates Resorts World New York City in Queens, which is currently a racino that only offers electronic table games and video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Resorts World NYC is considered a front-runner for one of the three downstate casino licenses New York is readying to issue. Since opening in 2011, the racino near JFK International Airport has generated more than $3.7 billion in revenue for the state’s lottery education fund.