In an email reply to StarBiz Week, Genting Singapore chief financial officer Lee Shi Ruh mentioned the company’s interest in looking at opportunities in the two Asian nations. “Should the opportunities arise, Japan and Korea are the options we can look at,” she said.
Genting’s candy eye for both Japan and Korea doesn’t come as a surprise for many analysts, especially considering that the two countries have had respective talks in breaking open the casino industry. Japan, in particular, has had long discussions on “liberalizing” the casino industry, evidenced by a group of lawmakers in Japan who are pushing for a bill that could legalize casinos in the country. Meanwhile, South Korea only has one casino open to citizens, but talks are underway regarding a plan to build a state-of-the-art casino resort near Incheon International Airport.
Despite the cause for optimism, there’s still a lot of work left to be done before either country finally relents on loosening their stringent casino regulations. But if there’s one beacon of hope Genting can hold on to, it’s the fact that for all of Singapore’s casino opulence these days, the country only legalized casinos in 2005.
If and when the two nations do open themselves up to the casino industry, expect Genting to be front and center in trying to get their brand in either country. For a casino that has long been keen on expansion, Genting will be working the midnight oil to use their truckload of expansion funds to penetrate the Japanese or Korean market. After all, where else would they use up their billions?