Following a tough 2020, Genting’s chairman and CEO Lim Kok Thay highlighted the opening of Genting SkyWorlds in Malaysia later this year, together with the firm’s investment in an expansion to its Singapore property Resorts World Sentosa. Nevertheless he warned that the company will continue to face “significant challenges” in 2021.
Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Genting has suggested there are signs of “nascent recovery” in gaming across Asia. Nevertheless, he warned of “significant challenges” in the year ahead, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact business.
Genting is the parent company of Genting Malaysia, which operates Resorts World Genting, the only licensed casino complex in Malaysia. It also controls Genting Singapore, the operator of Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s two integrated resorts.
“While the regional gaming market has continued to register nascent recovery, significant challenges will persist in the coming year given the negative impact of the pandemic on the sector,” Lim said in a statement which formed part of Genting’s 2020 annual report. “The group maintains a cautious stance on the near-term prospects of the leisure and hospitality industry. The outlook for the global tourism, leisure and hospitality industries remains highly uncertain.”
Although the reopening of Resorts World Genting in June 2020 “was well received”, he cautioned that the COVID-19 situation remained “fluid” in Malaysia. “The near-term recovery momentum of the operations at Resorts World Genting will be impacted following the temporary closure of the resort from 22 January 2021 to mid-February 2021,” he noted.
On the positive side, a “key growth initiative” for Resorts World Genting will be the launch of its new outdoor theme park Genting SkyWorlds later this year. Lim confirmed the attraction, which will features ride themes based on the 20th Century Fox properties, is set to open “by the middle of 2021”.
Lim acknowledged that Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore “experienced a very significant dip in international and regional visitor arrivals in 2020”. The property was closed from 6 April to 30 June 30 last year. Despite the business impact of the pandemic on the property, he underlined Genting’s commitment its SGD4.5bn ($3.4bn) expansion of Resorts World Sentosa.
“Revisions to design works …incorporating health and safety measures are ongoing to adapt to the post-pandemic environment,” Lim added.
He also stated that Genting Singapore would continue to pursue an integrated resort licence in Japan.
Lim said the firm would “evaluate the conditions” of different regions’ request-for-proposal processes to verify if they whether these met Genting’s investment criteria.