HONG KONG Jan 9 A new $2.5 billion Macau casino
planned by MGM China, the Chinese arm of U.S. gambling
giant MGM Resorts, received a boost on Wednesday after
the government formally approved the project in its official
The development comes after MGM said in October that it
would pay the Macau government 450 million patacas ($56.4
million) as an initial installment to lease the land.
MGM, which operates in Macau the world's largest gambling
destination along with other U.S. rivals Sands China
and Wynn Macau, still requires construction approvals
before it can start building.
The casino is expected to open in 2016 on Macau's Cotai
strip at the same time as other new properties by the six
Cotai, a stretch of reclaimed land that connects to Macau's
crammed peninsula where MGM already has one casino, has been a
key focus for Macau casino operators looking to expand in the
Shares in the $7 billion company were up 3.5 percent in
morning trade on Wednesday, slightly higher than casino peers
SJM Holdings up 1.9 percent and Galaxy Entertainment
up 1.8 percent.