Genting Singapore Could Bid For Thailand Casino Permit

Posted on: January 8, 2024, 03:22h. 

Last updated on: January 8, 2024, 03:40h.

Genting Singapore could emerge as a contender for a Thailand casino license should the government there approve integrated resorts.

Thailand Casino
The Grand Palace in Bangkok. Genting Singapore could bid for a Thai casino license. (Image: Getty Images)

In a recent report to clients, Maybank analyst Samuel Yin Shao Yang said the Resorts World Sentosa operator could bid for a Thai casino permit and that it could form a joint venture with an unspecified partner to accomplish that objective.

While we acknowledge that Thai IRs are more likely to be a threat to Genting Singapore than to [Resorts World Genting operator] Genting Malaysia, we note from history that Genting Singapore is not averse to expanding overseas to partially stave of competition,” wrote Yang.

The analyst cited Genting Singapore’s previous flirtations with projects in Japan and South Korea as evidence that the operator is open to expanding in the Asia-Pacific region and that it would consider a joint venture as a means to that end. Genting shuttered its Japan operations in late 2021 after it became increasingly clear Yokohama policymakers and residents wanted no part of a casino hotel.

“Thus, we do not discount the possibility that Genting Singapore may form a joint venture to bid for a Thai IR license should Thailand liberalize its casino industry,” added Yang.

Thailand Casino Gaming Could Take Shape This Year

Thailand doesn’t currently allow casino gaming but policymakers there are showing signs of changing their tunes on that front, and the appetite among operators to potentially enter the country appears robust.

While Thailand lacks the gaming infrastructure seen in other nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Macau, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea, the country is showing signs it’s increasingly open to the idea of integrated resorts.

In 2021, lawmakers indicated casino gaming could be inching closer to reality. To that end, several committees were created to explore issues, including tax collection, where an integrated resort will be located, attracting investment, operations, and impact on local communities.

With Macau settled at six concessionaires, and with the Singapore duopoly of Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa firmly entrenched, Thailand is widely viewed as one of the next great frontiers in Asia-Pacific casino gaming. Expectations are in place that the country could make some progress on the issue this year.

Genting Singapore Could See Big Thailand Competition

One thing is certain. If Thailand moves ahead with allowing integrated resorts, and if it approves multiple venues at once, competition for the licenses will be fierce and likely draw some of the biggest names in the industry.

Las Vegas Sands has already indicated that it could be interested in constructing an integrated resort there, and it’s believed Galaxy Entertainment and MGM Resorts International feel the same way. All three are established in the region.

Bottom line: Genting Singapore is a viable contender for a Thai casino license, but it will square off against some credible rivals in that quest.

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