Genting Could Get Thailand Boost, Faces New York Headwinds, Says Research Firm

Posted on: May 7, 2024, 04:29h. 

Last updated on: May 8, 2024, 10:15h.

Genting Group could benefit from the surprisingly efficient pace at which Thailand is considering casino regulations, but the opposite scenario in New York could be a headwind to the Malaysian gaming giant.

Selwyn Balkissoon
Resorts World New York in Queens. Operator Genting is benefiting from casino movement in Thailand, but is facing hurdles in New York. (Image: New York Times)

That’s the take of Nomura, which believes Genting is likely to be a player in Thailand and remains in a strong position to win one of three downstate casino licenses in New York despite regulatory delays in the fourth-largest state.

That said, we believe the Genting group will also be looking to make a bid [to develop a Thai IR] once the process starts,” according to the research firm.

Thailand hasn’t officially approved entertainment districts, which are expected to include casino resorts, but the pace at which the country has moved through the related legislative process has surprised some industry observers. It’s now widely expected that the country will approve gaming legislation this year, potentially setting the stage for the first casino resorts to open there as soon as 2029.

Genting Faces Different Circumstances in New York

While the process is speeding along in Thailand, the opposite is true in New York where industry executives are growing frustrated by a bidding scheme that lacks clarity and could drift into late 2025 or early 2026 after answers were expected this year.

Genting hasn’t been vocal in its criticism of New York regulators, but the operator of Resorts World New York in Queens, along with MGM Resorts International, is widely viewed as one of the leading contenders to win one of three downstate permits.

“While we think Genting Malaysia has an edge over other bidders due to its pre-existing facility in Queens and strong community relations, the delay in [the] license process means any positive catalyst from New York will have to wait, at least until next year,” added Nomura.

In February, Genting said it would spend $5 billion to transition the Queens venue to a Las Vegas-style casino hotel if it wins one of the permits. More recently, the company said if Resorts World New York is allowed to shed its slots-only status, the venue could drive $1 billion or more in annual tax receipts to the state.

Malaysia Overhang Waning for Genting

Recently, reports surfaced that Malaysian officials met with Genting executives about developing another integrated resort in the southern part of the country. Such a venue could have potentially cannibalized Genting’s gaming property in its home country as well as Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

Genting has denied it desires to build another casino hotel in Malaysia and law enforcement there are probing Bloomberg for publishing an article that said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim held talks with the company about gaming expansion in the country.

With the article refuted, that “should remove an overhang on the Malaysia and Singapore IRs, and is a positive development for Genting Singapore, Genting Malaysia and [parent] Genting Berhad,” according to Nomura.