Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan says his company will re-apply for a licence to operate a casino at Berjaya Hills (pictured), a resort area in the state of Pahang.
Mr Tan said the company might invest 3 billion ringgit (US$930 million) in the project if authorities approve the plan for what would be the country’s second casino, the Business Times reported.
Berjaya Hills is a resort area owned by Berjaya Corp Bhd, an investment holding company founded by Mr Tan which businesses include hotel management and TOTO betting games.
Mr Tan had applied for a licence to operate a casino at Berjaya Hills more than 10 years ago but it was rejected amid protests.
“We will re-apply for the licence. Malaysia should not stick to one operator. It should be shared with other operators as tourism developments can generate a lot of income for the country,” Mr Tan told the newspaper.
Berjaya Hills currently has a permit to operate slot machines. The complex is just minutes away from the country’s only casino in Genting Highlands, operated by Genting Malaysia Bhd, which saw 1.4 billion ringgit in revenue from the casino in the first quarter of 2014.
Mr Tan told the newspaper he hopes there will be no objections from any parties to the new project.
“Malaysians and foreigners are spending their money on gambling, hotels and food in Singapore, Macau, Cambodia, the Philippines and Las Vegas. I’m sure they would like to come here,” he was quoted as saying.
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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