MGM China signs deal for Macau casino expansion

HONG KONG -- The Chinese arm of U.S. casino company MGM Resorts International says it has signed a long-awaited land deal to build a new casino resort in Macau, the world's biggest gambling market.

MGM China Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it has signed a land concession contract with the Macau government for a plot in the Cotai district. Cotai is an area of reclaimed land that's earmarked for all future casino expansion in the Asian gambling hub.

MGM said it is paying $161.4 million for the land, including a down payment of $56.2 million. The company plans to build a resort that includes a 1,600-room hotel, 500 gambling tables and 2,500 slot machines.

The deal means MGM will be able to compete with rivals that have already expanded in Cotai, including Sands China.