Casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd is the “obvious frontrunner” to win at least one upstate New York casino licence, said Maybank Investment Bank Bhd.
“We are increasingly convinced that Genting Malaysia will win a prized upstate New York commercial casino licence as it is offering the highest amount of investment into the project, highest amount of licensing fees and/or tax rates and highest number of jobs and salaries,” analyst Yin Shao Yang wrote on a note issued on Monday.
He added: “None of the competing applicants have a track record that is even close to Genting Malaysia.”
The firm – which runs Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only casino resort –, already operates Resorts World Casino New York City, which opened in 2011. The property only offers slot machines and electronic table games – live tables are not allowed.
The Malaysia-based investment bank estimated that if Genting Malaysia wins at least one of its bids, it would accrete at least a net MYR0.47 (US$0.14) per share.
Winners are expected to be announced by November at the latest, Maybank said. New York’s gaming commission has said it would pick the winning bids before year-end.
Genting Malaysia has submitted bids for two casino licences in upstate New York – one in Tuxedo and the other in Montgomery, both in Orange County district. In Tuxedo, it plans to build a US$1.5 billion property to be called Sterling Forest Resort. The second bid is for Resorts World Hudson Valley (pictured in a rendering) in Montgomery, with a price tag of US$1 billion, according to the summary of the proposal.
New York is set to grant up to four upstate casino licences. There are a total of 16 applicants. The Malaysian casino operator has reportedly spent a total of US$2.48 million on lobbying for casino licences in the New York State between 2012 and 2013, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group.
“The next strongest applicant is Caesars Entertainment Corp via Caesars New York. Even then, its bid is a distant second,” Mr Yin said.
Last month, Japanese bank Nomura suggested that Genting Malaysia’s bids were “the most aggressive and [in] many ways superior to that of the competition”.
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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