Genting Singapore looking to develop intergrated resort in UAE

KUALA LUMPUR: Genting Singapore is looking to develop an integrated resort (IR) development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to The Edge, this was revealed by its executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay when asked by a shareholder on the company's international expansion plans during its annual general meeting (AGM) last Friday.

Lim also said that for its upcoming Resorts World Sentosa (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 Edge also reported that when asked by a shareholder if he would be interested in bidding to develop an IR in the UAE, Lim explained that bid conditions in Singapore, where the company runs RWS, were for an IR rather than just for a casino.

Lim as quoted by The Edge said that there was a "landscape change in the global gaming industry" and that he expects more countries will follow Singapore's example in favouring IR developments.

"In this respect, the company is well positioned, due to it being a Singapore company and its experience with IRs, to pursue IR project bids," he said.

For investment into the UAE, Lim said an international tender for a casino-only development is unlikely and that Genting Singapore would be happy to work on an IR development in the Middle East, leveraging the company's experience in non-gaming offerings.

Meanwhile, on Thailand, Lim said he preferred to wait until details around the regulatory framework are made clear.

"Until there is more visibility on the terms and conditions for legalising gaming in other jurisdictions such as Thailand, the company will continue to monitor what is happening outside of the home market," he said as quoted by The Edge.

Lim said the Thai gaming legislation had passed only recently and was still "very general and lacked specific detail on rules and regulations and the bidding process", and that it would therefore be necessary for "crucial details to be firmed up such as locations and whether local residents would be allowed to gamble or not" before the company could decide if it should consider a bid.

He also said should the company opt in favour of bids in Thailand or the UAE, he did not expect the Singapore government to object.

He said the government will "generally not interfere with investment decisions of its corporate citizens" but "given the company's gaming business in Singapore is heavily regulated, it is to be expected that the company's decisions on foreign ventures will be subjected to scrutiny and review, and may be impacted by the need for partners to meet Singapore regulatory standards for probity."

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