MGM Mirage Plans Second Resort in Macau

Las Vegas (AP) — MGM Grand Paradise, a 50-50 joint venture between casino operator MGM Mirage and businesswoman Pansy Ho Chiu-king, said Tuesday it is in discussions with the government in Macau to develop a second casino resort in the gambling enclave.

MGM Grand Paradise said it anticipates submitting plans for the resort on a „prime identified site in Cotai“ to the government later this year.

MGM Grand Paradise is currently developing the USD 1.1 billion, 600-room MGM Grand Macau, which is expected to open in the fourth quarter.

Ho Chiu-king is the daughter of Hong Kong billionaire and casino magnate Stanley Ho.

MGM Mirage shares rose 84 cents, or 1.21 percent, to close at USD 70.24 on the New York Stock Exchange.

CIBC World Markets analyst David Katz said in a research note the announcement was „a modest positive for MGM and a modest negative for other Macau-related operators.“

But he noted U.S. gambling regulators have yet to approve the alliance between MGM and Ho Chiu-king. Investigators are looking for assurances Stanley Ho — who has denied links to organized crime — won’t be associated with the casino venture.

Gambling authorities in states such as Nevada and New Jersey consider the operations of casino companies in other jurisdictions to affect their licenses at home.

„Ultimately, we expect approval to be granted and believe MGM will be a strong competitor in Macau,“ Katz said.