Berjaya Corp founder trying again for casino license

Berjaya Corp founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan may submit a fresh application for a license to operate a casino in Malaysia, breaking the monopoly of Genting Malaysia Bhd, local media reports.

The billionaire, who relinquished his position as chairman of Berjaya Corp Bhd in 2012 said on Tuesday that Malaysia should have more than one casino to give locals and tourists more options.

"There has been a monopoly in the casino market for too long. We hope the government will consider a second casino licence," Tan said on the sidelines of the official opening of Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences Kyoto.

Currently, Genting Malaysia Bhd is the only operator licensed to run casinos in the country.

According to Tan, a second casino would generate more income for the government and accelerate growth in several sectors, including tourism and hospitality.

The Berjaya Corp founder first applied for a license to operate a casino in Berjaya Hills Resort in Pahang more than 12 years ago, but it was rejected at the time.

In 2014, it was reported that he may again apply for the gaming licence. He said he had planned to invest RM3 billion (US$671.1 million) initially to set up the gaming complex.

The complex was to include a gaming centre, indoor and outdoor theme parks, food outlets, a retail mall, hotels, a convention centre and holiday homes.

Berjaya Corp is currently best known for its involvement in the lottery sector, and successfully launched its lottery operations in Vietnam in July this year.

"Right now, we have one game only (in Vietnam). We aim to launch 10 to 12 different games. We will introduce four to five games in the first year, and another four to five games in the following year," he said.

"We are in the lottery business and we never had a monopoly. The pie for the casino business is big enough for us to share," said Tan.

Analysts said while there is a possibility of the license to be granted, it isn’t expected to come soon.

"There is a possibility as Berjaya is already operating a lottery business, but we don't expect the licence to be granted so soon," said an unnamed analyst quoted by Business Times.

More news from this jurisdiction

MalaysiaMonday, Oct 09, 2017

Malaysian police are looking into a video recording that shows seven policemen from the Muar district in Johor apparently fraternizing with a known gambling den boss at a karaoke lounge.

MalaysiaThursday, Oct 05, 2017

There is little chance for the Malaysian government to increase gaming taxes for casino and lottery options, according to AmBank group chief economist Anthony Dass.

MalaysiaThursday, Oct 05, 2017

Authorities in Sarawak are struggling to keep a lid on illegal gambling, despite conducting raids every week, says State Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Dev Kumar.

MalaysiaMonday, Sep 18, 2017

Seven people have been arrested in Kuching for their involvement in an illegal online gambling and 4D online transaction centre.

MalaysiaMonday, Sep 04, 2017

Malaysian police have arrested 51 people who are suspected of being involved in unlicensed public lottery betting.

MalaysiaThursday, Aug 24, 2017

Casino operator Genting Malaysia said its second quarter net profit fell 59.4 percent year-on-year due to lower Adjusted EBITDA and higher depreciation and amortisation from Malaysian operations.

MalaysiaTuesday, Jul 18, 2017

A massive police crackdown on illegal gambling in Penang has pushed illegal gambling operators into the outskirts of town, and online, according to Penang police chief Commissioner Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye.