The refurbishment and expansion of Malaysia’s only casino resort is moving rapidly. Genting Malaysia Bhd’s management now plans to open the first batch of 500 additional rooms at Resorts World Genting (pictured – file photo), otherwise known as Genting Highlands, by the end of the year, Malaysian investment bank CIMB said.
“Previous guidance on the 1,300-room expansion was that it was likely to all come on-stream in mid-2015,” noted analyst Lucius Chong.
“The opening of the first 500 rooms of that expansion by the end of the year and the remaining 800 rooms by mid-2015 is therefore a positive surprise,” Mr Chong wrote in a note issued on Friday.
He added that the addition of 500 rooms represented a 6-percent increase in room inventory at the Genting Highlands property.
The casino resort is undergoing a MYR5-billion (US$1.58 billion) revamp, officially dubbed the ‘Genting Integrated Tourism Plan’. The plan includes a 20th Century Fox outdoor theme park (to open in 2016), a new hotel, more shops and the renovation and upgrading of existing rooms and facilities.
CIMB expects an additional 100 gaming tables or 20 percent increase in gaming capacity will be added to Genting Highlands with the 1,300 new rooms.
Genting Malaysia last week reported a 45-percent drop in net profit in the second quarter of 2014. Revenue from the Malaysian leisure and hospitality business declined 12 percent to MYR1.3 billion primarily due to a lower hold percentage in the premium players business, the company said, adding the ongoing revamp at Genting Highlands had resulted in lower visitor numbers to the resort.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia