Wynn Resorts Lures MGM Executive for New Casino-Development Unit

Wynn Resorts Ltd. hired an executive from MGM Resorts International to head a new development division, signaling it wants to build casinos at a faster pace.

Gamal Aziz will serve as president and chief operating officer of Wynn Resorts Development LLC, Wynn Resorts said in a statement today. The company, headed by billionaire Stephen Wynn, didn’t provide a start date for the appointment.

“Our activities in North America and Cotai require that the company expand its leadership,” Wynn said in the statement. Aziz “will give us a tremendous boost as we begin 2013,” the Las Vegas-based company said.

Cotai is a piece of reclaimed land in Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, that is being developed into Asia’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip. Wynn Resorts, founded in 2002, owns casinos in Las Vegas and Macau and received approval last year for a resort in Cotai.

Wynn Resorts has submitted a proposal for a casino in Philadelphia and is expected to pursue one in Massachusetts after abandoning its first site there last year, according to Michael Weaver, a company spokesman.

Aziz headed a division at MGM that pursued hotel developments around the world since 2007. Earlier, he worked with Stephen Wynn at what was then called Mirage Resorts.

Wynn added 1.2 percent to $120.78 on Jan. 4 in New York. The shares advanced 1.8 percent in 2012.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.