Friday’s reopening of gaming at Resorts World Genting in Malaysia should bring a meaningful benefit to business there, despite being limited initially to membership players and despite international travel restrictions globally due to Covid-19, says a note issued on Thursday by Nomura Group.
The institution cited as a factor the large number of local players it believes make up the patrons at Genting Malaysia Bhd’s flagship property, the country’s only casino complex. The resort has said it will also reopen selected attractions, hotels and dining outlets.
“We believe that with more than 70 percent of visitors to [Resorts World Genting at] Genting Highlands being locals, some pent-up demand could return now as the resort resumes operations despite closed international borders,” wrote analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal.
Resorts World Genting was first shuttered on March 18 as part of national efforts to contain the novel coronavirus associated with the Covid-19 infection.
The Nomura analysts added in their memo, referring to the fact entry to the SkyCasino (pictured) and Genting Club would be limited initially to members only: “The initial maximum capacity for the various attractions at Genting Highlands and the casino will be limited, due to social distancing measures.”
They added: “This is in line with our thesis of sharply lower Malaysia revenue/ gross gaming revenue for 2020 (-55 percent to -56 percent year-on-year) before rebounding next year.”
The note gave no commentary on reports in the Malaysian media that Genting Malaysia was to shed 15 percent of its workforce. The group had 20,000 employees as of December 31, according to corporate filings. As well as its Malaysia operation, the firm also runs casinos in the United States, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom and Egypt.
Nomura said in its Thursday note – citing commentary from management – that “preparations are under way to reopen Resorts World Casino New York City and Resorts World Catskills,” in the United States, “soon”.
The banking group said that Genting Malaysia’s shopping outlets at Resorts World Birmingham in the United Kingdom reopened on June 15.
“Other offerings at Resorts World Birmingham and all its U.K. land-based casinos can reopen from 4 July 2020, as per local authorities,” added Nomura.
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Chief executive and president of MGM Resorts