Genting eyes Japan; Melco Crown buys Philippine co.; Kangwon Land expands

TAGs: Genting Singapore, Japan, Kangwon Land, Melco Crown Entertainment, Philippines, South Korea, taiwan, weidner resorts

korea-phlippines-taiwan-japanGenting Singapore is the latest company to publicly declare its intentions to expand into the Japanese market, if/when politicians in the land of the rising sun ever rise off their collective arses long enough to pass the relevant integrated resort (IR) casino legislation. At a press conference in Singapore, chairman Lim Kok Thay told reporters that the Japanese market’s “good potential” made an obvious target for the company’s next expansion project. Lim said he was “optimistic” that the country’s long-promised gaming law would become a reality within the next 12 to 18 months. Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa saw profits fall 34% in the most recent quarter due to the slowdown in the Chinese VIP gambler market currently plaguing most of the Asia-Pacific region’s casino enclaves.

Taiwan is also taking the slow boat towards casino development, the central government having pushed back passage of its new casino law to June 2013 at the earliest. In the meantime, developer Weidner Resorts has opened offices in Taipei to be close enough to bend the ears of politicians as the need arises. On Friday, Weidner held a press conference to reiterate its promises to the residents of the Matsu Islands on which the company hopes to get the nod to construct a resort casino. In the lead-up to a referendum on the casino idea in July, Weidner promised Matsu residents an annual payment of NT $18k (US $618) in the casino’s first year of operation, rising to NT $80k after five years. But on Friday, president William Weidner admitted there is as yet no timetable for when the casino will be completed.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. has announced it will pay PHP1.26b ($30.8m) to acquire a 93.1% stake in Philippines-listed Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp. The Hong Kong-based Melco Crown wants to use the pharmaceutical and property management firm as a vehicle to manage and operate its casino currently under construction in PAGCOR’s Entertainment City development in Manila Bay.

Enough of this talk about casinos that haven’t yet opened! Kangwon Land, the only one of South Korea’s 17 casinos to admit locals, received government approval late last month to dramatically expand its operations. The casino will nearly double its gaming floor to 11,824 square-meters and boost its number of gaming tables by 52% and its slot machines from 1,092 to 1,560. Hyundai Securities analyst Han Ik-hee anticipates Kangwon Land’s new toys will boost customers by 35% once they’re in place in Q2 2013. HI Investment Securities analyst Min Young-sang expects the company’s net profits to rise 30-40% once the new gear is fully operational.


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