MIAMI (CBS4) – A Las Vegas company may be interested in buying a large piece of land in downtown Miami to build a casino resort.

According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, the Las Vegas Sands casino operators are looking into buying eight blocks of downtown’s Park West neighborhood.

The move would compete with a recent plan from the Genting Group which also wants to build a massive gaming destination. Genting has already purchased the Miami Herald’s building and parking lots and has proposed building a $3 billion gaming resort on the site called Resorts World Miami.

The Sands operators, however, said they can make the deal work only if the Florida Legislature grants them an exclusive gaming license for Miami-Dade.

The Sands is not the only Vegas operator vying for a place at the South Florida table. Caesars Entertainment is said to be in negotiations with Gulfstream Park.

Before any operator is granted rights, state legislators need to approve gaming.

A plan being considered now would grant gaming rights to five regions throughout the state, including Miami-Dade. Legislators are also considering letting residents of those regions approve gambling through a public referendum.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)