The operator of the Resorts World Genting casino complex in Malaysia hopes it can reopen the venue before September 1 if it can convince the country’s government it has a suitable health and safety plan in the aftermath of the initial Covid-19 emergency.
That is according to an investment analyst – who asked not to be named – in comments to GGRAsia. The resort, run by Genting Malaysia Bhd, was first shuttered on March 18 as part of national efforts to contain the novel coronavirus associated the Covid-19 infection. The closure was subsequently extended on several occasions, and there is not yet a confirmed date for the property’s reopening.
“They are not mentioned in the national reopening plan,” the person noted, referring to Resorts World Genting and the announcement that from Wednesday until August 31 there would be some relaxation of pandemic-control measures in Malaysia. The country’s so-called Recovery Movement Control Order outlined on Tuesday foresees a full reopening of the economy after September 1.
The analyst stated regarding Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only casino complex: “They remain closed but hope they can reopen before 1 September 2020 by exhibiting their post- Covid-19 pandemic ‘standard operating procedures’ to the government.”
A notice on Resorts World Genting’s website carrying Tuesday’s date confirmed that the property was still shut – along with the group’s non-gaming resorts in that country – despite the so-called recovery order of the national government.
With reference to the casino complex the notice stated: “We would like to assure you that, despite the temporary closure, we have heightened our already-stringent hygiene practices to safeguard the health and safety of all our guests and employees. This will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience once we reopen.”
On Wednesday, an official from Malaysia’s Ministry of Health said the country had recorded two new Covid-19 cases as of noon that day, the lowest reported daily tally since the initial Movement Control Order on March 18. The new cases brought the national tally of infections to 8,338.
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$98.2 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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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings