Malaysia's Genting Group makes surprise move for Macau gaming concession – IAG

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A company linked to Genting Group Chairman and CEO Lim Kok Thay has been revealed as a surprise seventh bidder for a Macau gaming concession.

In the final hours before the Macao SAR Government closed the submission period for bids under its re-tender process for new concessions, a company called GMM submitted a bid to the bidding committee, represented by a Mrs Chen.

Two large cardboard boxes containing the original and copy of the tender documents were prepared by GMM and accompanied by three people, including Mr Bruno Nunes, a well known lawyer from Macau.

Speaking with media afterwards, Mrs Chen confirmed that GMM is associated with Genting Malaysia and the person in charge is Lim Kok Thay.

“Mr Lim Kok Thay wanted to come to Macau [to submit Genting’s bid] but he couldn’t come because of the pandemic,” she explained.

Mrs Chen confirmed that Macau concession bidder GMM is linked with Genting Malaysia and its Chairman and CEO, Lim Kok Thay.

Mrs Chen also expressed confidence in Genting’s bid due to its global presence. Genting Bhd operates US$4.6 billion Resorts World Las Vegas and is majority owner in both Genting Malaysia, operator of Resorts World Genting, and Genting Singapore, operator of Resorts World Sentosa.

The addition of GMM means there are a total of seven bids for a maximum of six concessions to be granted under Macau’s re-tender process, with all six current concessionaires having also submitted their bids before the bidding period ended at 5.45pm on Wednesday.

Genting’s bid for a Macau concession comes as somewhat of a surprise with most industry experts having predicted that only the existing six concessionaires would take part in the re-tender given the prevailing pandemic situation and shorter 10-year concession – just half the original 20-year concessions granted back in 2022.

The company had also appeared to be abandoning its Macau ambitions after Genting Hong Kong announced in November 2020 the sale of 50% of its stake in Genting Macau.

At the time, Genting Macau owned 75% of Treasure Island Entertainment Co Ltd – a firm that was initially developing a hotel on the Macau peninsula dubbed Resorts World @ Macau and where Genting had hoped to one day develop a casino resort.

It is unclear where Genting Hong Kong, which is currently in the hands of liquidators, stands in regard to the remaining 50% interest in Genting Macau although it had outlined plans to sell the entirety.

With Wynn Macau having become the first of Macau’s existing concessions to submit its bid on Tuesday, the remaining five all followed suit on Wednesday afternoon with their most senior executives on hand to witness the historic moment.

SJM’s Angela Leong and Daisy Ho were on hand as the company submitted its bid on Wednesday.

They included Melco Resorts Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho, who commented, “I would like to thank the Macau government for this opportunity. Our proposal reinforces our commitment to Macau and the further diversification of its economy. We look forward to playing a leadership role in partnering with the Macau government to execute on the government’s vision.”

MGM China Co-Chairman and Managing Director Pansy Ho Chiu King said the bid took around a year to prepare but added she was confident the company would be successful in its re-tender efforts.

Pansy Ho Chiu King

Galaxy Entertainment Group Vice Chairman Francis Lui Yiu Tung expressed similar sentiments, stating, “GEG has done a lot of work over the past 20 years and believes it has done a satisfactory job for Macau’s economy, peoples’ livelihood, investment and construction, and youth training.”

One of the main points of the government’s tender award criteria is to attract greater foreign visitation. visitors. Lui agreed that attracting overseas visitors is “something that should be done” and “the only way to show Macau’s positioning as a world center of tourism and leisure.”

“The source of visitors (after the pandemic) has really changed, and I hope to attract more MICE and public entertainment guests in the future,” he said

Galaxy Entertainment Group Vice-Chairman Francis Lui.

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