MGM Resorts opened its $3.4 billion (£2.5 billion) casino resort in the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau yesterday, following multiple delays and last-minute hiccups in the government approval process.

MGM Cotai, which will more than triple the number of MGM’s hotel rooms in the former Portuguese colony to 1972, marks a major expansion for the global resort and casino brand.

The mega project’s launch faced repeated delays, including in August when Typhoon Hato ripped a path of destruction across southern China, leaving 10 dead in Macau and businesses and homes washed out in the territory’s worst typhoon for over 50 years.

Nevertheless, betting in Macau has witnessed a 36% year-on-year jump and the casino unveiling appears to have come at a very opportune time.

“We set out with a vision to develop an integrated resort that brings first of its kind experiences to Macau and beyond. I am incredibly proud of the talented global team of MGM professionals for bringing this vision to life with the opening of MGM Cotai,” said James J. Murren, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts International and Chairperson & Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited.

He added: “MGM is committed to supporting the development of Macau as a global tourism destination and I am grateful to the Macau government for allowing us the opportunity to invest and develop a second property here.”

Pansy Ho, Co-Chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, commented: “Macau SAR is stepping into its 20 years and has made remarkable achievements. The city has now become a distinguished ‘Global Brand’, allowing us to showcase our ambition and determination by developing an architectural ‘Jewelry box’ for the city.

“Serving Macau has always been MGM’s mission. With the vision of ‘To inherit the past, to explore the future’, we leveraged innovation and artistry to tell the story of Macau and create extraordinary moments for the people of Macau as well as guests from around the world.”