Genting Singapore Seen in Catbird Seat in Yokohama Casino Race, Says Bank

By | May 22, 2021

The field of contenders pursuing a Yokohama integrated resort license is declining in number. But one research firm sees Genting Singapore as the leader in the clubhouse.

Genting Singapore
Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Owner Genting is seen leading the Yokohama casino race. (Image: Times of India)

In a recent report, Maybank Research estimates that a gaming venue in Japan’s second-largest city could drive $7 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) on an annual basis, accounting for 60 percent of the tally among the first three integrated resorts in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That’s a big number and one that belies the departures of several big-name operators from the bidding process — a field that grew earlier this week with the addition of Galaxy Entertainment Group. The recent conclusion of Yokohama’s request for proposal (RFP) process shows the remaining bidders are Genting Singapore, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Sega Sammy, and Shotoku.

Our channel checks in Japan indicate to us that Genting Singapore is very actively pursuing its Yokohama IR bid, and is better positioned to win the Yokohama IR RFP process than many of its competitors,” according to Maybank.

That assessment arrives as parent company Genting Berhad nears the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas. This is its first venue in Vegas.

Genting Singapore Keeping Cards Close to Vest

Maybank acknowledges Genting Singapore hasn’t been openly sharing information about its Yokohama intentions.

In a regulatory filing out last November, the operator confirmed its interest in the city but appeared standoff-ish in terms of overtly committing to anything more than participation in the RFP. At that time, the gaming company said it wanted to evaluate the investment environment and consider if the project meets its investment criteria.

It’s widely believed that the cost floor for a single high-end integrated resort in Japan will be $10 billion, and could reach up to $15 billion. Even at the low end of that range, one gaming venue in the country will be the priciest of its kind on record.

More Reasons for Genting Yokohama

For now, it’s merely speculation that Genting will emerge as the winning bidder in Yokohama, and it’s not yet clear if the city will even be granted a license. However, the chatter is rooted in some element of fact.

From the onset of Japan pursuing casino resorts, it’s been noted that officials want to lure companies with operational experience in the Asia-Pacific region. On that note, Genting could benefit from the departures of Galaxy, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts from the Yokohama competition.

In particular, LVS being out of the fray could be a boon for Genting, because it’s believed Japanese officials have reverence for the Singapore integrated resort model. The city-state has just two casinos: a duopoly controlled by Genting (Resorts World Sentosa) and LVS (Marina Bay Sands).

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