The state is looking to add more than $300 million in revenue to its coffers over the next two years and hopes to attract $200 million in new tourism, according to a proposed casino proposal that was filed in Arizona’s Legislature on Wednesday.
The proposed casino, the first in the nation, would open in 2019 and would be located in Las Vegas, where it would operate at the new MGM Grand.
It would include gaming, hotel, convention and entertainment facilities, as well as a hotel, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and a spa.
The casino would also include a large convention center that would attract millions of visitors.
The proposal comes amid increasing concerns that Arizona’s tourism industry is slowing, and the state is trying to lure more tourists to Arizona, which was a U.S. top destination for gambling in 2016.
Arizona’s legislature approved the proposal Wednesday and sent it to the state’s governor, Doug Ducey, who has been a vocal critic of the state economy.
The legislation would allow casinos in all of Arizona’s 20 counties, including Phoenix and Tucson.
It also would extend a state-wide casino moratorium from 2020 to 2023.
The moratorium, which began in 2013, has allowed casinos to open for business, but casinos have not yet opened in Arizona.
Duceys office had not responded to a request for comment on the proposal.
A recent study by the University of Arizona estimated that Arizona casinos will lose nearly $600 million in the first year after opening, although the state said that would be offset by new revenues generated from new visitors and casino revenue.
The study was based on a projection that casino revenue will grow at the same rate as the state average during that period.
Arizona has been working on its own casino proposal for years, but a final plan has not been finalized.
The plan includes a hotel tax and casino-related revenue, including hotel room taxes and gaming-related revenues.
It is not yet known if the casino would be able to raise enough money from hotel room and gaming taxes to be viable.
The bill also includes an exemption for tourism and convention-related events.
The Arizona Convention and Visitors Bureau is proposing a $500 million resort in Tempe, Arizona, and a $300-million resort in Pinal County.
The state’s Tourism Infrastructure Program is looking at several other casinos, including a proposed $300-$500 million hotel and convention center in Phoenix.
Determining which casinos will be approved and which will be blocked was left to the discretion of the Legislature.
The legislative session ended at 10 p.m.
Wednesday, but lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to make their decision.
A full discussion of the bill is expected to be held at a later date.