Malaysia

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has raised its long-term corporate credit rating on Genting to A- from BBB+ and said the outlook is stable, thanks mainly to surplus cash on the balance sheet. 

Genting Malaysia is expected to reveal plans for a RM 3 billion upgrade to its flagship hilltop casino resort on December 17th, according to CIMB Research. 

The company has sent out invitations and the Prime Minister is expected to officiate at the event. CIMB said the news could boost the company’s share price. So far, only RM 1 billion of the mega project has been detailed, including a 2,000 room expansion of the hotel and an outdoor theme park with 20th Century Fox.

Some Malaysian state governments are planning to appoint religious officers to monitor who enters into gaming outlets to ensure local muslims are not gambling, according to press reports. Malacca’s state government plans to station these officers outside the Magnum, Sports Toto and Da Ma Cai outlets and said they will occupy the checkpoints around the clock.

Genting Bhd, which owns Singapore’s Sentosa Resorts World Casino, reported a 65 percent rise in third-quarter income to  462.1 million ringgit ($143.04 million) from 279.42 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue climbed 12 percent year on year to 4.7 billion ringgit. Revenue from the group’s leisure and hospitality industries rose 14 percent to 4.06 billion ringgit.

 

Police in Kuching have arrested 20 people for online gambling in a local internet cafe, including employees, local media reported. The gamblers were mostly foreigners. Computers, cash and documentary evidence were seized and charges are being prepared under the Common House Gambling Act and the Entertainment Enactment 1953, the reports said.

Analysts in Malaysia have mooted a possible rise in casino taxes in next year's budget, which would impact Genting's earnings.  

Profits for lottery operator  Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd. slipped 11.7 percent for the quarter ended July 31 from a year earlier to 101.3 million ringgit ($31 million) as revenue declined 1.4 percent to 887.1 million ringgit. The company is moving forward with listing some of its assets in Singapore through Sports Toto Malaysia Trust.

Khairy Jamaluddin, youth and sports minister, said that "the majority of Malaysians are morally not ready for sports betting" in an interview with sports247.my.

Gaming revenues from Malaysia, the US and the UK rose at similar rates, boosting leisure and hospitality revenues for Genting Malaysia Bhd.

Mohd Ali Rustam, former chief minister of Malacca, called for the closure of Resorts World Genting, the flagship casino resort of Genting Group

and Malaysia's only legal casino, calling it a source of social problems and crime. Ali Rustam, who this week announced his candidacy to return as vice president of the ruling  United Malays National Organisation, said the government didn't need the casino's tax revenues and minimized its economic contributions.

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