PRESIDENT AND COO
POWER SCORE: 916
POSITION LAST YEAR: 31
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Completing US$2.3 billion Genting Integrated Tourism Program at group heirloom Resorts World Genting
• Holds gaggle of global assets from RW New York City to Crockford’s Cairo
IN a single August session, Genting Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur traded shares tumbled 12% on news the company was becoming a 49% partner in Resorts World Catskills, helping Chairman Lim Kok Thay’s family investment vehicle cut its stake and privatize the money losing casino hotel. For better or worse, President and COO Lee Choong Yan is accustomed to foreign intrusions into his stewardship of Resorts World Genting, the group’s first property.
Last year Genting Malaysia posted a loss on revenue of US$2.4 billion due to writing off a US$500 million loan to a tribal project that lost its US government casino authorization (the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is fighting to regain it).
Genting’s drive to bring gaming to its Miami holdings likely influenced prime Florida antagonist Disney to scuttle RW Genting’s Fox World theme park; a July agreement allows limited Fox content.
The renamed theme park, expected to open in 2021, will crown the MYR10 billion (US$2.3 billion) Genting Integrated Tourist Plan with hotels, retail and MICE upgrades to make RW Genting a world class destination. Increased visitation, up 10% this year to likely surpass 28 million, isn’t yielding higher casino revenue yet, and EBITDA has taken a hit following a gaming tax hike from 25% to 35%.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.