CLAIMS TO FAME
- Heads most global gaming company, present in nine countries with 52,000 staff
- Launched first new ground-up Las Vegas Strip integrated resort in a decade in 2021
- Launched new cruise ship firm after pandemic-induced collapse of Genting Hong Kong
For all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, it remains an indisputable fact that Genting Group patriarch Lim Kok Thay continues to oversee the single largest land-based gaming and tourism operation in the world.
Under the umbrella of Malaysian-listed Genting Berhad, of which he is Chairman and CEO, Lim’s global interests include the company’s 49.3% stake in Genting Malaysia Bhd, which operates Resorts World Genting (RWG) outside of Kuala Lumpur plus casinos in New York and the United Kingdom.
There is also a 52.6% interest in Genting Singapore Ltd, operator of the hugely successful Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), while in 2021 Genting Berhad launched its only 100%-owned and controlled casino operation: the US$4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas.
And he isn’t finished there. Although past efforts to open a large-scale integrated resort in Miami, Florida, ultimately failed, the Genting Group has now turned its attention back to New York where it hopes to win one of three full casino licenses on offer that would allow it to add gaming tables to its current slots only operation in Queens. Sale of the Miami land at a mooted asking price of around US$1.5 billion is seen as funding such New York expansion.
Lim has even resuscitated his cruise ship ambitions, launching late last year a new brand – Resorts World Cruises Pte Ltd – following the collapse of Genting Hong Kong and liquidation of its German shipyards.
Genting Hong Kong’s woes also saw the Genting Group forfeit its interest in Manila integrated resort Newport World Resorts, formerly known as Resorts World Manila, but any lingering disappointment over that misfortune has likely been tempered by the company’s strong performance back home in Malaysia and nearby Singapore.
Back into net profit in the first six months of 2023 on significantly higher revenues at RWG, analysts say Genting Malaysia has benefited significantly from the return in numbers of foreign visitors, up from 4.9 million in 1Q23 to 5.4 million in Q2 and with hotel occupancy reaching 98%.
In Singapore, RWS saw its net profit increase more than threefold to SG$276.7 million (US$205.6 million) in the first six months of 2023, aided by a rebound in both its VIP and non-gaming businesses.
Las Vegas remains challenging from a pure profitability perspective due to high interest and operating expenses but is tipped to benefit from large-scale events such as Formula 1 and Super Bowl in the months ahead.
One thing is for certain, with operations in nine different countries and a global workforce of 52,000 under his watch, Lim remains one of the most influential individuals in the land-based gaming scene.
For the full list of 2023 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.