Genting Malaysia Bhd is the parent company of the Resorts World Genting Casino, which is Malaysia’s biggest and only legal casino. Senior executives from Genting Malaysia recently sat down with analysts from the Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd to discuss their investment plans based on the company’s Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP).
Genting Malaysia had committed to investing around $1.1 billion under the GITP back in 2013 but has decided to nearly double their investment in 2016 by leveraging additional funding from their capex and will now invest close to $2.4 billion to increase the gaming capacity at the Sky Plaza and complete new projects at Resorts World.
The company will invest its $2.4 billion in a series of projects that will be rolled out in the coming years based on market demand. The first phase of those projects will include increasing the gaming space in the podium and is expected to be completed before the end of this year. While most of the gaming markets in Asia struggled during 2015, Resorts World Genting bucked market trends and experienced double digit growth in its VIP gaming and its mass market segments.
The collapse of the Macau casino industry has helped Resorts World to some extent as the casino recorded a 60:40 ratio of mass market revenue vs. VIP gambling revenue. The company plans on running a number of exciting promotions this year to see if it can push that ratio to a 50:50 percentage by focusing heavily on premium mass market gamblers. The company plans to develop a luxury hotel during phase 2 of its GITP project as Genting Malaysia continues its push to bring in more VIP and premium mass market gamblers to Resorts World.
Although Resorts World was subjected to Malaysia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, 2015 and had to pay an extra 6 percent on GST, the casino’s margins on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) have been impressive. Resorts World will most likely witness a spike in labour costs and pre-operating expenses during the next 24 months as it continues to develop its 20th Century Fox World theme park.
Genting Malaysia believes that it can manage the additional expenses based on the additional gaming revenue it generates from its podium expansion and also from the fact that it expects a spike in tourism, resulting in around 30 million visitors each year by 2020.
In a statement, analyst Lim Tee Yang from Affin Hwang said “This expectation of high growth in visitor arrivals would be positive to Genting Malaysia given that its Malaysian operations (Resorts World Genting) generate the highest EBITDA margin and benefit from higher gaming volumes.”