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Casino closure “off the table” as RWG business surges, says Genting COO

Genting Malaysia Berhad’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Tan Kong Han, assured shareholders that Genting casinos would remain operational due to several key factors.

Casino closure “off the table” as RWG business surges, says Genting COO
Tan Kong Han, Genting Malaysia COO

According to a report from the Malaysian Chinese-language news outlet Sin Chew, Tan made this statement during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday.

Tan expressed confidence that the government would not seek to close the casinos, citing the continued growth of Genting Highlands’ business.

Genting Highlands, also known as Resorts World Genting (RWG), is operated by Genting Malaysia, the country’s sole gaming operator.

The group’s COO emphasized: “The company has consistently adhered to the highest governance standards and conducted its gaming business responsibly. Over the years, we have operated in full compliance with government regulations, with Resorts World Genting being a significant contributor to the country’s tax revenues.”

Addressing broader industry trends, Tan noted that over the past decade, several countries initially opposed to the gaming sector have now embraced the establishment of integrated resorts.

“Similar to Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore a decade ago, the expansion of the gaming industry in Macau, China, and the Middle East, as well as recent developments in Japan and Thailand, demonstrates growing government interest in leveraging integrated resorts to stimulate economies, create employment opportunities, and generate tax revenue for communities,” he added.

Concerns about casino closures at Resorts World Genting (RWG) arose when it announced the closure of sections in two out of its three casinos starting from February 28th this year.

Despite emphasizing that the closures were temporary, this clarification contradicted media reports indicating that the closure would be permanent.

Genting clarified that only portions of Genting Casino 1 (Circus Palace) and Genting Casino 2 (Hollywood) would undergo temporary closure for renovation purposes. SkyCasino will remain operational as the sole functioning casino during this period.

At that time, the temporary closure was reportedly attributed to dwindling patronage.

Malaysia, kuala Lumpur, Visa-free

Visa-Free policy as a booster

From the same source citing Genting’s shareholders, Genting Malaysia’s management has praised the mutual visa exemption between Malaysia, India, and China, noting that the policy has beneficial effects on the group’s business.

“In the first quarter of 2024, revenue from Genting’s local leisure and hotel business increased by 25 percent year-on-year, and Resorts World Genting’s business volume increased significantly, with the main tourists coming from Singapore, Indonesia, China, and India.”

According to the group’s financial update for 1Q24, its net profit reached RM36.7 million ($7.8 million), reversing a loss of RM45.4 million ($9.65 million) recorded in the same quarter last year.

Total gaming revenue for the group hit RM1.99 billion ($423.1 million), while non-gaming revenue totaled RM715.5 million ($152.1 million).

China and Malaysia entered into a visa-free agreement in December last year, which has been extended until the end of 2025. The duration of each stay has also been extended from 15 days to 30 days.

Genting Highlands, Hard Rock Hotel

Online gaming 

The Genting brand has been a victim of illegal online gaming operations. In response to shareholders’ queries, a spokesman highlighted that online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, although numerous unauthorized online platforms exist, some of which misuse the Genting Group brand.

Genting Malaysia affirmed its commitment to reporting such issues to the authorities and pursuing legal action against those who misuse its brand without authorization.

Additionally, Genting Malaysia stated its readiness to assist relevant authorities and law enforcement agencies upon formal complaints to address the issue of illegal online gambling in Malaysia.

The company also noted it has implemented various measures to combat unauthorized entities misusing Genting’s information. These measures include issuing alerts and warnings on its websites and notifying bodies such as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chanhttps://agbrief.com/
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.

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