MGM Mirage is now the unofficial godfather of the gambling industry.

The company today announced the board approval of production on the MGM Grand Atlantic City-- a gambling, hotel and retail complex to be built in the New Jersey resort town.

MGM will spend a whopping $4.5 billion to $5 billion constructing the project, which will consist of 3 hotel towers, over 3,000 rooms, 5,000 slot machines, 200 table games, a 1,500-seat theater, and 500,000 square feet of retail space on 72 acres of land. The facilitynicknamed City Center East after MGM's complex in Vegas-- is scheduled to break ground next year, with its grand opening slated for 2012. The project would make MGAC the largest of its kind in Atlantic City.

Since making Mandalay Resorts an offer it couldn't refuse in 2005, MGM seems to be the reigning don of vices. The company is a huge player in the Macau gambling projects and holds the title of Nevada's largest employer.

Investors show steady confidence in their leader, as shares have gained nearly 30 points since hitting $71.02 in mid-August. As a result of today's revelation, the stock hit a new high of $100.50. Shares are currently trading at $98.48, down 1.27%.

Tony Soprano would be so proud.