Casino operations at Resorts World Genting (pictured), Malaysia’s only gaming resort, are to resume at 10am on Friday (June 19), but only for Genting Rewards members, according to a notice posted on the property’s website on Wednesday.
“Due to limited capacity, entry into SkyCasino at SkyAvenue and Genting Club at Genting Grand Hotel will be for Genting Rewards members only. Public entry into the casino will resume as soon as possible,” said the announcement on behalf of Genting Malaysia Bhd, the resort’s promoter.
“The resort will reopen with selected attractions, hotels, and dining outlets,” the firm said in a separate statement.
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.
A number of investment analysts had mentioned that in the Macau market – where casinos have remained open aside from a 15-day pause in February – the eventual recovery in gaming business was likely to be led by high-end play, because it involved lower volumes of customers, who could be safely kept apart from each other to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
At Resorts World Genting there would be “enhanced safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of all our guests and employees,” said Wednesday’s notice.
The company said in the separate statement that it would monitor the number of guests at the casino and ensure that “it is not overcrowded”. There will be limits on the number of players allowed at a gaming table at any one time; slot machines will also resume operations but also with reduced availability to ensure social distancing between players.
“We have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitising of gaming equipment and machines,” added the firm. “All banknotes are sterilised and gaming chips are disinfected with advanced antimicrobial coating technology.”
Genting Malaysia said that it would use an existing smartphone app for Genting Rewards members, for player contact tracing purposes: casino goers will be required to scan a QR code using the app upon entry and exit of the casino.
In other casino markets, including Macau, rules have been outlined on the maximum numbers of players allowed at a gaming table at any one time; and the need to keep slot machine players safely apart.
Cable car, buses
The statement said the Awana Skyway cable car and Genting express buses would also resume operations. The property at Genting Highlands is about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
Two of Genting Malaysia’s non-gaming holiday resorts in that country – Resorts World Kijal and Resorts World Langkawi – were due to reopen on Thursday, Genting Malaysia had earlier stated.
The Malaysian authorities announced last week that starting this month and until August 31 there would be some relaxation of pandemic-control measures in that nation. The country’s so-called Recovery Movement Control Order foresees a full reopening of the economy after September 1.
Data from Malaysia’s Ministry of Health released on Wednesday showed that the country had recorded 10 new Covid-19 cases as of 5pm that day. The new cases brought the national tally of infections to 8,515, with 121 deaths recorded and 7,873 patients classified as recovered.
In late May, Genting Malaysia – which also operates casinos in the United States, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom and Egypt – reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of nearly MYR418.0 million (US$97.8 million at current exchange rates) for the first quarter of 2020, due to what it said was a decline in overall business caused by Covid-19.
Commentary from analysts after the results announcement noted that the opening of an outdoor theme park at Resorts World Genting was being delayed further, this time by more than 12 months, to the fourth quarter 2021 from the third quarter this year, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract