By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Gaming Attorney & Certified Anti-Money Laundering SpecialistFollow @cduhaime Earlier this month Reuters published an article that Malaysian casino operator, Genting Bhd, closed a deal on the purchase of a 87-acre plot of land in Las Vegas, representing the largest investment in Las Vegas since at least 2008. The announcement follows on the heels of the announcement by China's largest property developer, China Vanke Co. Ltd., that it had formed a joint venture to develop two high-rise condominium towers in Las Vegas. Both projects are presumably aimed at targeting mainland Chinese consumers who prefer to purchase goods and services from Chinese companies when travelling abroad.
The deals are worth about US$1 billion combined. According to the article from Reuters, the transactions signal a move of Asian corporations away from investment into natural resources in the US or Canada and into services industries that cater to Chinese consumers abroad.
The foray of these companies poses a risk to existing casino and entertainment establishments in Las Vegas because they will target Asian consumers who have been the principal generators of gambling revenues in Las Vegas since 2010.
"If you're smart, you start settig up places for Chinese people to stay and things for them to buy," Derek Scissors, an economist with the Heritage Foundation a Washington-based organization that advances free enterprise and limited government, told Reuters.