On March 27th, 2015 The Bahamar Resort and Casino opened in Nassau, Bahamas as one of the largest and most complex casino centric developments to be completed over the last several years. The resort is part of a larger global trend whereby casino developers are looking to capitalize on undeveloped regions that offer both favorable regulations and tax advantages over the United States.
The resort is primarily a Chinese project and no doubt will quickly become the overseas choice for Asian high rollers who will now have the luxury and amenities typically found only in Las Vegas in a tropical destination with beaches, less regulations and no income taxes.
The casino will be 100,000 sq ft and is by far the largest in the Caribbean, with a full range of table games, slots and VIP salons to cater to the high end clientele. But perhaps the coolest perk for players is that the casino owns its own private island which is available by invitation to high level players.
These factors are sure to hurt the business of Vegas casino operators who will really struggle to compete with their product offering on a fundamental level – who wants the desert when they can gamble and hit the beach right after?
Another major development on the island was improvements that were made to their gaming regulations in November of 2014 that include amendments allowing for Internet Gaming, VIP rooms and other amenities that were requested by the developers to help them in luring high rollers to the resort.
This combined with a newly developed Visa Waiver program signed between the Bahamas and China will ensure that tons of wealthy Chinese visitors flock to the island once the project is opened. The Waiver program now allows residents of both nations to visit either China or The Bahamas for up to 30 days without the need for a visa.
The $2.4 Billion hotel is really quite impressive and features three different properties including the Bahamar, Grand Hyatt and SLS Lux and the Rosewood. The property is set on 3,000 feet of beachfront real estate and has a total of 2,000 hotel rooms and 284 private residences for guests. Among the dining options at Bahamar are a collection of 30 restaurants featuring everything from casual eats to fine dining at restaurants like The Deuce and Katsuya. Overall, Bahamar is poised to be one of the best casino resorts in North America once launched and it will be interesting to see the effect on Vegas.