Resorts World Genting Shutters Two Casinos at Malaysia Resort

Estimated read time 4 min read

Resorts World Genting in Malaysia has closed two of its three casinos at the sprawling integrated resort in the Titiwangsa Mountains.

Notices outside the Circus Palace and Hollywood casinos at Resorts World Genting inform guests that the gaming spaces are closed. Genting hasn’t said whether the casinos are being updated or swapped out for new amenities at the Malaysia entertainment destination. (Image: Reddit)

The Resorts World Genting website quietly removed information regarding the Circus Palace and Hollywood casinos on Wednesday, February 28. A notice informed visitors to “proceed to SkyCasino” for gaming activities.

Reports from Malaysian news outlets suggested that the closures of the two casinos are permanent. Resorts World reportedly struggled to return meaningful traffic to the two older casino spaces since the pandemic.

The resort issued a statement late Wednesday that seemingly suggested the closures aren’t permanent, but are instead related to upgrades. Whether gaming will return to the facilities remains unclear.

In our ongoing effort to improve our operational efficiency and enhance the gaming and entertainment experience for our guests, we continuously upgrade our facilities. This will involve temporarily closing certain sections of our casino to facilitate the improvements,” the Resorts World Genting notice read.

For now, resort guests can only gamble in the SkyCasino, a two-level, more modern casino than Hollywood and Circus Palace.

How Genting Got its Name

Resorts World Genting opened in 1965, eight years after Malaysia gained independence from the UK. Malaysian businessman Lim Goh Tong secured the Southeast Asia nation’s lone casino license.

The Malaysian government agreed to hand Lim a monopoly on casino gaming so long as only foreigners and non-Muslim Malaysians were given access, and that the resort not be centrally located in a major city.

Lim explored the country before settling on a hilltop north of the Kuala Lumpur capital called Genting Sempah. Lim adopted the Genting name into his resort destination, and later, lent the Genting name to his business conglomerate.

Lim would go on to become the richest man in Malaysia, with an amassed fortune of more than $4 billion. He died in 2007 at the age of 89, and his son, Lim Kok Thay, assumed control of the Genting Group empire.

Today, Genting operates integrated resort casinos in several other markets, including Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines. Genting also owns three casinos in the U.S., with two in New York and its newest development, Resorts World Las Vegas, a $4.3 billion undertaking that opened in June 2021 on the famed Strip.

Genting Mishap

Genting grew from a single casino resort in a remote mountainous part of Malaysia into one of the world’s largest casino operators. But one of the company’s biggest blunders was not securing market access in Macau when the city opened up its commercial gaming market around the turn of the century.

During Macau’s 2022 reissuing of gaming concessions to its six casino operators, Genting sought to disrupt the licensing by submitting a bid. The Macau government ultimately stuck with its six casino firms, with Genting the odd-man out after the Chinese region declined to further expand the market with a seventh operator.

Genting hopes it’s not making a similar mistake in Japan. After considering a bid for an integrated resort in Yokohama, Genting was forced to abandon those plans after the city backed out of consideration. Genting opted to fold on Japan instead of looking elsewhere.

Genting certainly wasn’t alone in ditching Japan. While MGM Resorts is moving forward with its Osaka casino development, other leading casino companies, including Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock, and Melco Resorts also let the sun set on the Land of the Rising Sun.

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