Casino operator Genting Singapore PLC is making its presence felt in Japan ahead of passage of important casino legislation in the island nation.
In a disclosure to the Singapore Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Genting Singapore announced that it has opened a branch office in Tokyo as Japan prepares to open its doors to big casino industry players.
Genting noted that the Tokyo office’s business purpose is (a) to develop and manage the company’s leisure and hospitality business; (b) administration and resource support, including research and market studies, investment and promotion; (c) any and all businesses incidental or related to each of the foregoing.
“The establishment of the Japan Branch is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share of the Company for the financial year ending 31 December 2017,” the casino operator pointed out. “None of the Directors or substantial shareholders of the Company has any interest, direct or indirect, in the establishment of the Japan Branch other than through their respective shareholdings in the Company.”
Genting Singapore, the subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd that operates the Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort in Singapore, has been hoping to take a piece of Japan’s casino industry pie since last year.
It abandoned its casino joint venture on South Korea’s Jeju Island to focus its energy on a possible integrated resort license application in Japan.
Japan-based credit debt watcher Nomura estimated that the Japanese casino industry could generate US$7 billion worth of gross gaming revenue from at least two major integrated resorts.
But Genting isn’t the only one hoping to bag the much coveted license from Japan. Hard Rock International, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, among many others, have also expressed interest in getting a casino license in Japan.