Genting and South Florida
Malaysian giant casino company has been seeking entry to Miami-Dade County since 2011.The company apparently views Miami as prime casino development territory, despite the presence of Seminole enterprises in the region. The latest move by Genting is to contract to operate a casino on the north county line. Gulfstream Park owns a casino and has hired Genting to run it.
Genting bought the Miami Herald building in 2011 for $236 million, with the intention of opening a casino/hotel complex, but has never been able to obtain a license to own a casino. The Hallandale Beach property owned by Gulfstream Park is the next best thing for Genting, although it is the smallest operation in the Resorts World empire of ten large casinos around the world.
Genting plans to modernize the gaming operations into a “best in class” level seeking to make Gulfstream Park the top casino location in South Florida.. The intent is to match the track as a top attraction. Frank Stronach bought the track in 1999 and has raised purses and introduced incentives for South Florida breeders. All of this has squeezed the profits of Calder race track owned by Churchill Downs.
One of the great principles of casino owners and managers is that double talk confuses the opponents. Stronach, who is now eighty-four, has called casinos a tax on the poor even as he built some of the largest in the world. Gulfstream claims that it hopes to not depend on the casino in a few years. That seems unlike any story I have heard. Usually it is the horse track that is phased out.
Stronach recently purchased through a subsidiary the cruise line Crystal Cruises, and opened a ferry to Bimini where he controls a casino. With all these efforts it does not soon appear that South Florida will be free from pressure the Stronach or Genting. The casinos are persistent if not always truthful.