The Bellagio is heading to Shanghai, but it may be bad news for punters

  • Shanghai to welcome the Bellagio brand, confirms MGM
  • Casino known for iconic fountains to open Chinese hotel

Las Vegas casino resort Bellagio has confirmed that the brand is expanding into the Asian market, with a new resort opening in China this year. The Bellagio Shanghai will be located alongside other high-end resort hotels in a growing luxury tourism district known as the Bund, and it will feature many of the style and service elements for which Bellagio is well known.

bellagio moving to shanghai
Shanghai bound: the world-famous Bellagio may be moving to Shanghai but it won’t be taking its most famous export

Originally expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2017, owner MGM has now confirmed that the doors will open at the Bellagio Shanghai this summer. There is, however, one sticking point for fans of the Bellagio and it’s services as it’s widely recognised. There will be no Bellagio casino in the new resort.

Bellagio style blends with Chinese culture

While much of the substance of Bellagio will be transported to the East, there are some elements that unfortunately travel less well. The intrinsic Vegas casino – widely regarded as one of biggest and best in Nevada – is not part of MGM’s plans for the new site. And that is because China’s laws do not permit gambling outside of the regions of Macau and Hong Kong just yet.

Instead, MGM has indicated that the focus for the new building will be on recreating the extravagance and opulence of the Bellagio building in Las Vegas.

As anyone familiar with the casino industry will know, Las Vegas’ Bellagio casino features an eight-acre lake with stunning fountains at which regular light and water shows are performed. In Shanghai MGM has chose to focus on the inside of the building, combining Italian fashion and design with local culture. Reports also indicate that, as expected of a brand associated first and foremost with luxury casinos, style will be the key focus for visitors.

Gambling in China

It may surprise many to see a Bellagio appear from the ground up and not to find a casino inside the building. However, gambling is currently illegal in China with the exception of state-sponsored lottery games. In the Macau region of the country, however, things are different. The region is widely known for its casino industry and has been in the news recently for recording record casino revenue figures.

May 2017 saw Macau’s industry celebrate its tenth successive month of revenue growth, recording a figure $2.8 billion that was a 23.7% increase from 2016’s figure. At present Chine has no plans to legalize gambling in other areas of the country.

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