Genting hopes to expand beyond Aqueduct

Genting Berhad, the Malaysian company that is close to getting final approval for its $380 million bid to operate the city’s first gambling parlor at the Aqueduct racetrack, has big plans for the Queens raceway and for expansion into the rest of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. The project — Genting’s first in the U.S. — will initially be limited to 4,500 slot machines and electronic table games, but the company hopes to later expand it into a destination resort with upscale hotels to attract international travelers. Genting also controls casino resorts in Malaysia and Singapore, and the Norwegian Cruise lines. With roughly $5 billion in annual revenue and a $27.6 billion market capitalization combined, the company is now looking for gaming opportunities in places like Las Vegas, California and Massachusetts and has plans to possibly spin off its U.S. operation into a separate public company at some point. However, the U.S. gaming landscape is still struggling to recover from unemployment and the recession, which forced tourists and gamblers to cut back on their visits. Aqueduct also faces stiff competition from casinos in Atlantic City, Connecticut and Pennsylvania where table games were recently approved. [WSJ]

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