Genting Skyworlds, Malaysia

Will recently recruited ex-MBS industry juggernaut, Andrew MacDonald, be given enough autonomy to work his magic at Genting Singapore and help turn the tables on his former employer, MBS? We bring you Part II of “A tale of two Genting(s)” by senior industry executive and author, Daniel Cheng.

MBS be warned! A tale of two Genting(s) - Part II
Daniel Cheng*
"A tale of two Genting(s) Part I"  - Read that chapter first for the full insight.

The smell of renewal permeates the air as the world emerged in 2022 from the pandemic. As borders slowly reopened, the two most prolific Genting businesses in Singapore and Malaysia are leading the resurgence in the Group’s fortunes. 

The half-year report card sprung a surprise when the Highlands mossback turned back the clock and posted higher revenue than its glitzier Singapore cousin for the first time ever. The results demonstrated the importance of the local market base where Malaysia dwarfed Singapore in size. It was also a testament to the operational contrast between the two Genting businesses. 

The Malaysian resort continued to be run in the vein of the original Genting culture with strong organizational longevity from the top down to the operational level. 

The Singapore business buffeted under a constant renewal in its management ranks as it pitted to find the right formula to keep up with its more successful downtown competitor. 

Truth be told, RWG had been grinding away at the gap with RWS since even before the pandemic while the latter was preoccupied with playing catch-up with MBS and pursuing Japan. 

In 2017, the top line of the Malaysian property was $100 million shy of RWS. That deficit was sliced in half by the close of 2019 just before COVID-19 struck. 

RWS registered twice as much profit before tax than RWG in 2017; that margin had narrowed to a mere 22 percent in the latest half-year results. 

The latest toss in the dice for RWS came with the news of the appointment of Andrew MacDonald in its latest attempt to rein in MBS and also keep a resurgent RWG at bay. 

It will be the second Genting stint for MacDonald where KT Lim was then left ruing what might have been when MacDonald left to catalyze the gaming business of Las Vegas Sands to new dizzying heights. 

MBS be warned! A tale of two Genting(s) - Part II
Andrew MacDonald

It remains to be seen if MacDonald will be given enough autonomy to work his magic, but MBS be warned.

Certainly, RWG is basking in its second wind and has to be applauded for its admirable response to a higher tax regime, which came into effect in 2019; but it might not be content with just one Indian summer. 

Besides its scintillating half-year performance, it has much to be optimistic about with the SkyWorlds theme park finally open to welcome customers this year, as well as future windfalls if its New York subsidiary is successful in the bid to become a fully-licensed commercial casino. 

With a new Thailand jurisdiction on the near horizon, dare the Malaysian entity ask to lead the charge up north? An innocuous announcement last week by Genting Singapore of the dissolution of a Thailand subsidiary could suggest so. 

RWS will need every bit of MacDonald’s gaming operation acuity with the increase in the tiered casino tax which came into force in March, while it braces for any reverberation from the overhaul of the Chinese junket network.

“It remains to be seen if MacDonald will be given enough autonomy to work his magic, but MBS be warned.”

Like the Dickens classic, the tale of the resorts in the two cities is a story of stark duality, of revolution in the best of times, and resurrection through the worst of times. 

Amidst the blooms and the ashes of the Genting narrative thus far arise the third generation in the Lim dynasty as the next scion ties his nuptials next month up in the mountains where his late grandfather had started it all. 

It signals a coming of age in more ways than one for the son, soon-to-be husband, and Chairman-elect of the Genting Group, and turns the page for the next chapter in the storied business empire.

A tale of two Genting(s) Part I” is available HERE. Read that chapter first for the full insight.


*Daniel Cheng is a senior industry executive and author. His next book, ‘Japan Casino Uprising,’ is scheduled to be released in the fall.