PETALING JAYA: A high-profile money-laundering case in Singapore hasn’t affected Maybank Investment Bank Research’s (Maybank IB) assessment of Genting Bhd’s 52.6%-owned Genting Singapore Ltd (GenS), affirming its “buy” call on the casino operator.
The confiscation by Singapore authorities seizing more than S$2.8 billion (RM9.71 billion) in cash, cryptocurrencies and other assets recently has no apparent impact on Singapore casinos, including GenS, the research house said.
It noted that GenS’s VIP market remains unaffected, and that the mass market segment is continuing to expand.
“GenS did not notice any discernible decline in its engagement with VIPs, whether via its private jet programme that was introduced early this year or its “meet-and-greet” celebrity events,” it added.
Furthermore, Maybank IB said even with the absence of a substantial number of Chinese visitors, GenS’s fully owned subsidiary Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) achieved mass-market gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first half of 2023 (H1 2023) reaching approximately the 100% level recorded in H1 2019.
Slot machines GGR which constitute 40%-50% of the mass-market GGR continues to rise due to the influx of new migrants to Singapore.
The research outfit anticipates further growth in mass-market GGR as Chinese tourist return to the island.
Last month, RWS was fined by Singapore’s gaming regulator for violating casino control regulations after failing to perform proper due diligence checks on customers.
Between April 2022 and March 2023, the integrated resort was fined a total of S$95,000 (RM326,916) for two breaches of customer due diligence measures, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) said in its annual report 2022/23.
The two fines were for breaches of the island state’s casino control regulations that also cover anti-money laundering procedures and terrorism financing.
In the previous fiscal year, it was fined S$200,000 (RM688,125) by the GRA also for failure to perform customer due diligence measures.
Singapore is home to a casino resort duopoly – Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, run by a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Genting’s shares ended four sen or 0.98% higher at RM4.14 with a market capitalisation of RM16.05 billion.