Never before a worldwide shutdown of all Genting group’s casinos

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 7, 2020.

People wearing masks seen leaving the casino at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. The Singapore government announced on Sunday that except those providing essential services, most businesses must cease operations from today to May 4. (Photo by Reuters)

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KUALA LUMPUR: The hospitality business contributed 82% of Genting Bhd’s revenue for the last financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19). However, this division has shut as governments across continents are implementing partial lockdowns to curb Covid-19.

The latest being Resorts World Sentosa after the Singapore government announced on Sunday that except those providing essential services, most businesses must cease operations from today to May 4, 2020. In short, there is zero income from all of its casinos.

It has been three weeks since the temporary closure of all operations at Genting Malaysia Bhd’s Resorts World Genting (RWG) in Genting Highlands from March 18 following the movement control order (MCO), extended to April 14.

The closure includes its hotel and entertainment facilities, food and beverage (F&B) outlets, casino, Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park, attractions, malls and retail outlets at RWG. A further extension of the MCO remains to be seen.

Genting Malaysia had then also announced its Resorts World Casino New York City’s temporary closure in the US, without specifying when the casino will reopen.

Likewise, the group’s casinos in the UK and Resorts World Birmingham are temporarily closed, following the UK prime minister’s national address to limit the spread of Covid-19, until further notice.

At RWS, only selected F&B outlets supporting residents’ daily needs will remain open for takeaways and deliveries, said RWS in a statement yesterday.

RWS is temporarily suspending all guest offerings including Universal Studios Singapore, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island, and casino from today to May 4.

While the existing hotel guests may continue to stay, RWS said all reservations for room stays from April 7 to May 4 will be cancelled and fully refunded.

“We will provide guests who purchased tickets for our attractions and made reservations at our restaurants or hotel bookings with full support and assistance,” said RWS.

RWS said all team members’ jobs are unaffected; they will still be employed during this period.

Genting Bhd’s share price went up 13 sen or 3.45% to RM3.90 yesterday, valuing the company at RM15.02 billion. Year to date (YTD), the counter has fallen some 34% from RM5.91.

Its home-based subsidiary Genting Malaysia closed higher at RM2.08, up five sen or 2.46%, with a market capitalisation of RM11.76 billion. The stock has shed some 34.5% YTD from RM3.18.

Genting Singapore closed four sen or 6.15% higher at 69 Singapore cents (RM2.08), valuing it at S$8.33 billion. The casino resort operator’s share price has slid 25% YTD from 92 Singapore cents.