Genting UK outraged by continued casino closure

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
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Genting UK has voiced its frustration at the UK government’s decision to keep casinos across England closed for a further two weeks.

European Gaming reports that Genting UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, described the move as a “whack-a-mole approach” in policymakers’ lockdown strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Genting UK’s director of corporate assurance and regulatory affairs Jon Duffy was quoted as saying last Friday that the announcement flew in the face of government strategy pertaining to local lockdowns.

“After weeks of meticulous planning, we find it incredible that we have been given less than 24 hours’ notice as to this change of plan, which in itself has caused huge damage to the business,” Mr Duffy said.

“Significant numbers of staff have been brought back from furlough to prepare for the reopening, and this is devastating news for our entire team who now faces further worry and uncertainty.

“For every week we remain closed, it is costing us more than 1.5 million pounds. This is clearly not sustainable, with more jobs and livelihoods being put at risk with every last-minute change and delay.”

It has been reported that Genting UK claimed the UK government’s decision to delay all casinos in England from reopening “defied logic” and “seriously threatens the future of the entire industry.”

“We recognise that incredibly difficult decisions have to be made by all those in government, but we are absolutely confident our venues are as safe, if not more so, than a range of other businesses now currently operating,” Genting UK said.

Genting focuses on Yokohama project

It has been reported today that integrated resorts developer Genting Singapore has stated that it will focus its efforts and resources in Japan on Yokohama, Japan’s second largest city by population.

Casino Buzz reported in February that a Genting Singapore spokesperson said: “While Genting Singapore participated in the Osaka RFC; after reviewing and considering shareholder feedback, it did not register for the Osaka RFP, for which registration closed on February 14.”

The government of Japan is set to issue three licences for three integrated resorts in the country.

“Genting Singapore will continue to engage in the ongoing RFC by Yokohama, and focus efforts and resources on delivering a compelling proposal which will make Yokohama a must-visit tourism destination, with particular prominence in MICE and leisure,” the spokesperson said.

Local government ministers in Yokohama announced last week that it would be releasing its draft policy next month and that a period of consultation would follow, with a finalised basic policy expected by June 2020.

Yokohama ready to set up IR committee

The government in the Japanese city of Yokohama last week said it would submit an ordinance to the city’s assembly to set up an independent selection committee to choose its private sector partner for a tilt at a casino resort.

GGR Asia earlier in February that such large-scale casino complexes are known in Japan as integrated resorts or “IRs”.

The committee will consist of seven people adjudged to be independent of the local government, but expert in matters related to IRs.

The committee will subsequently report to the city assembly regarding its work.

A maximum of three casino resorts will be allowed in Japan in a first phase of liberalisation, and cities or prefectures qualified to have one will need to make a bid to the national government once they have chosen commercial partners for such schemes.

Yokohama city is due to announce its IR implementation policy by the end of March and to launch its partner selection via a request-for-proposal process between April and December.


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