CASINO

Asian casino operators make it in Nikkei’s ‘companies to watch’

TAGs: james murren, MGM Resorts, Nikkei Inc. Japan

Japan-based Nikkei Inc. is betting on Asian gambling operators to become some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies in the region.

Asian casino operators make it in Nikkei’s 'companies to watch'Nikkei has created an exclusive list of 300 “companies to watch” from 10 Asian countries and regions, which includes several gaming companies.

Among those making the newly-created Nikkei Asia 300 Investable Index are Hong Kong-listed gaming company Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG); Philippine-listed casino operator Bloomberry Resorts; South Korean casino operator Kangwon Land Inc; Genting Singapore Plc, the operator of Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore; and Genting Malaysia Bhd, which runs Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only casino resort, and operates casinos in the United States, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.

In handpicking the companies, Nikkei said they considered market capitalization, growth potential and geographic balance.

The media firm said the Asia 300 offers “a glimpse of the players that aspire to be dominant forces in the 21st century” that will challenge established Western brands.

For GEG Vice Chairman Francis Lui Yiu Ting, the casino operator’s inclusion on the list is a vote of confidence as the company prepares to bid for an integrated resort license in Japan.

“It is also a direct reflection of GEG’s exceptionally strong operational and financial performance in recent years, with group revenue for the 12-month period to September 2017 of US$7.5 billion,” Lui said in a statement.

MGM Resorts eyes Osaka for its integrated resort plan

In other Japan casino news, MGM Resorts International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Murren wants to build an integrated resort in Osaka if given a chance.

Jiji Press reported that Murren hopes to bring the MGM brand to Osaka due to the city’s rich food culture and accessibility to tourist spots.

Casino operators are scrambling to get the best seat possible before Japan finally opens its casino market. Discussions on the Integrated Resorts (IR) Bill were put on hold last year after Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to dissolve the country’s lower house, and called a snap election.

It is likely that the IR Bill will pass toward the end of the ordinary session on June 20, or, failing that, in a fall extraordinary session.

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