Genting Highlands has for a long time been a hive of activity. Day trippers, tourists and gamblers often head up the mountain, navigating through congestion to spend time up on the hill.
But nowadays, though is a stark contrast to how things were. The crowd has disappeared and the roads are generally empty. Roadblocks manned by police and guards of the Genting group are the only people seen around the popular tourist destination.
Genting Highlands, the place where the Genting group has its theme park and Malaysia’s only casino, has been shut since mid-March.
The ongoing Covid-19 outbreak has stalled the operations of integrated casinos and resorts in all regions, which have led to investors fleeing gaming-related listed stocks.
For once, the odds are not in favour of the house.
From Macau to the United States, casinos have had to temporarily close their operations. Genting’s operations in Malaysia and Singapore, which cumulatively contribute 90% of its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (Ebitda), were no different. They have remained closed for the past two months or so. Worse, nobody has an inkling on the schedule of the reopening of Genting’s vast and glitzy gaming halls.
Macau, which shuttered its casinos for two weeks in February, has resumed casino operations, while Las Vegas has set June 4 to reopen its doors for patrons waiting to see the resumption of blackjack, poker, bingo and craps, among other table games.
In contrast, Genting has not given any clue as to when its operations in Malaysia and Singapore will be back in action after Covid-19 closures.
Genting, the most valuable gaming company in the region with strong cash flows, is in an unusual spot.
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