Malaysia’s Genting Bhd, one of Asia’s largest casino operators, received a letter of consent from the Tuxedo Town Board to support its bid to develop and operate a casino resort in upstate New York.
While it does not mean the site will be chosen by the New York State Gaming Commission for one of the four casino licences to be granted, it means Genting has passed one more regulatory procedure, according to reports from U.S. media.
In total, 22 applications with the required US$1 million fee were submitted to a New York state gambling panel last month. Aside from Genting, the late entry list has other major players, including Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Genting said it was looking at several locations but has its sights on Tuxedo, which would make it the closest location to New York City under review. The Tuxedo location is very close to Woodbury Commons, one of the main outlet centres in the U.S., attracting wealthy consumers from overseas, especially from Asia.
Genting did not reveal the total investment in the project. It said it was proposing a multi-million four-season resort, to be called Sterling Forest Resort.
Genting earlier this month unveiled details for a US$4 billion development in Las Vegas. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2014, the group said. A final approval for a gaming licence is expected on May 22.
But Moody’s Investors Service has said the Las Vegas project is credit negative as it would raise the group’s debt level.
The rating agency also warned that the weakened credit profile arising from the investment in Las Vegas could reduce Genting’s ability to make a bid to develop integrated casino resorts elsewhere.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China