The government of Macau has approved a plan to build a new US$2.5 billion casino by MGM China (2282.HKG), the Chinese subsidiary of US gambling giant MGM Resorts International (MGM.NYSE), Reuters reported, citing a Macau government announcement. The company still needs other approvals before it can start construction of the project, which is expected to open in 2016 on Macau’s newly developed Cotai strip. The company leased the land for an initial term of 25 years and will pay an initial installment of 450 million patacas (US$56.4 million), according to earlier announcements. MGM China faces competition with other US casino operators including Sands China (1928.HKG) and Wynn Macau (1128.HKG) in Macau, the world’s largest gambling destination. The company’s shares climbed 5% to hit HK$15.58 per share by mid-day Wednesday, the highest level since August 2011.
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