Casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd will review investment opportunities at home and abroad after failing to secure a second casino licence in New York, in the United States, said chairman and chief executive Lim Kok Thay.
“Currently, we will continue our focus on the existing Resorts World Casino New York City,” Mr Lim told shareholders at the annual general meeting on Wednesday. The executive added that the company is implementing cost cutting measures in the U.S. operation. “There was an increase in expenses due to redundancies that cost a fair bit,” he said, quoted by local newspaper the Sun.
Resorts World Casino New York City (pictured), which opened in 2011, only offers slot machines and electronic table games – live dealer tables are not allowed.
Mr Lim also said that about MYR98.2 million (US$26.2 million) of the expenditure incurred for the casino licence application for upstate New York had been written off in 2014.
The executive however said there would be higher working capital for the U.K. business of Genting Malaysia, as Resorts World Birmingham is scheduled to open its doors in the second half of 2015. “All looks promising for us in Birmingham,” said Mr Lim.
Genting U.K. operates more than 40 casino outlets in the United Kingdom. Its new GBP150-million (US$229.2-million) property Resorts World Birmingham is planned to have a casino of up to 30 gaming tables, 150 slot machines, sports betting and bingo.
In May, Genting Malaysia said it would seek to raise at least US$472.2 million from a proposed sale of its entire 17.81 percent interest in casino ship operator and Philippines casino investor Genting Hong Kong Ltd. The firm said it would use the money raised to pursue other core investments and for the redevelopment of Resorts World Genting, the firm’s Malaysian casino and entertainment venue.
For the financial year ended December 31, Genting Malaysia’s net profit fell by 25.8 percent year-on-year, mainly due to lower contribution from the Malaysian market. The company however reported a 1.06-percent increase in net profit for the three months to March 31 compared to the prior-year period.
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"The casinos have to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The decision [to suspend casino operations] is up to the government. As of now, we don’t have any plan to change the existing regulations"
Lei Wai Nong
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance