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Genting Chairman: group open to UAE and Thailand IR investments

The Chairman of Genting Group, Lim Kok Thay, says that the company is open to pursuing an integrated resort opportunity in the United Arab Emirates and is awaiting more information to see about whether to bid for an IR development in Thailand.

According to the minutes of the group’s Annual General Meeting on April 18th, the executive is cited as saying “the company would be happy to work on an IR development in the Middle East, leveraging the company’s experience in non-gaming offerings”.

However, the meeting minutes do note that ‘for investment into UAE, (the) Chairman noted that an international tender for a casino only development is unlikely’.

The response came due to a shareholder enquiry, which also asked whether Genting would be interested in expanding into Thailand. While not responding directly to the Thailand question, the Chairman indicated that ‘the company is well positioned, due to it being a Singapore company and its experience with IRs, to pursue IR project bids’.

Another shareholder also questioned the group’s Thailand possibilities.

In response, the executive noted that it was focusing its efforts on the Resorts World Sentosa 2.0 and that it ‘cannot be totally reliant on the gaming business’.

Thailand possibility

The minutes indicate the executive stated that ‘until there is more visibility on the terms and conditions for legalizing gaming in other jurisdictions such as Thailand, the company will continue to monitor what is happening outside of the home market […] as and when the company comes upon a new opportunity outside of its core business in Singapore, it will update on progress’.

Lim Kok Thay also indicated that details are still lacking on the Thai IR license bidding process, and that ‘it would be necessary for crucial details to be fired up such as locations and whether local residents would be allowed to gamble or not, before the company can decide if it should consider a bid’.

Regarding possible foreign bids, the Chairman notes that it might be necessary for partners to meet ‘Singapore regulatory standards for probity’ and that ‘it is expected that the company’s decision on foreign ventures will be subjected to scrutiny and review’.

Singapore expansion

The executive has noted that in regards to Singapore and its RWS 2.0 expansion ‘a big part of the investment should not be viewed as casino expansion but an expansion of non-gaming offerings in alignment with Singapore’s strategy to become an event-driven tourist destination’.

The group has increased its expected investment in RWS 2.0 from SG$4.5 billion ($3.34 billion) to SG$6.8 billion ($5 billion) due to increased labor costs and that of materials.

The schedule for the project includes the commencement of construction on the waterfront building ‘before the end of this year,’ while ‘parts of the IR will progressively open all the way until around 2029/2030’.

The Chairman had previously stated that the ongoing developments at Resorts World Sentosa, such as the Minion Land at the complex’s Universal Studios Singapore theme park and the Singapore Oceanarium, “are progressing well.” He added that the construction of the Singapore Oceanarium is anticipated to be completed by early 2025.

‘There is a landscape change in global gaming industry and he (the Chairman) expects that more countries would follow the Singapore example in favoring IR developments,’ the minutes indicate.

Regarding visitation to the group’s property, the executive also noted that: ‘this year, the number of visitors is expected to recover to or surpass pre-COVID levels’. India was the largest source market for RWS pre-COVID, followed by China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelmhttps://agbrief.com
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.

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