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Genting pushes back on 'largest casino' claim

The Malaysian company pushing for a massive resort on the Miami waterfront said Monday it does not want to put the world’s largest casino there, calling that idea a “myth.”

A casino planned for the current Miami Herald site would be comparable to some of the biggest in the United States, a top executive for Genting Group told a gambling forum at Miami-Dade College. That’s still a sizeable venture but not the gargantuan casino that critics have seized on in warning Genting’s plan would overwhelm downtown Miami.

“That’s simply false,’’ Christian Goode, Genting’s top Florida executive said when a fellow panelist talked of bringing the “largest casino on the planet” to Miami. “It’s not even close to being the largest.”

Goode’s assertion comes more than a month after its project manager from a top Miami architectural firm outlined the components for a Genting casino that would make it the world’s largest. Company representatives said Monday those well-publicized statements were wrong, but offered no explanation as to why they waited so long to correct them. Story here.

The company also has been pushing a bill that would allow Genting to build a casino larger than anything else in the gambling industry, since the legislation caps the casino floor at 10 percent of a resort’s property. Genting has proposed a 10-million square foot, 5,200-room vacation destination on the Herald site and surrounding property called Resorts World Miami.

In an interview after his remarks at a day-long casino forum sponsored by the Beacon Council, Goode said Resorts World will likely have a casino with between 5,000 and 6,000 slot machines. That’s considerably fewer than the 8,500 slot machines that a Genting architect told the Herald were being contemplated in the design of the property.

The architect, Sergio Bakas, a senior vice president of Miami’s Arquitectonica and project manager for the Genting venture, said in an Oct. 26 interview that he thought Resorts World would have the largest casino in the industry, an assertion that wasn’t refuted by other Genting representatives.