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Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014

Malaysia

Genting boosts chances in Orange County

The Star/ANN | Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014

An artist’s impression of Resorts World Hudson Valley in Montgomery, New York, for which Genting Malaysia Bhd’s indirect wholly - owned subsidiary RW Orange County has submitted a bid.

PETALING JAYA - In its quest to further entrench its position in America, Genting Malaysia Bhd's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, RW Orange County LLC, has added a second bid for a casino licence in the Orange County area of the Catskills and Hudson Valley in New York.

RW Orange County is now among 16 players who had submitted 17 bids to the New York Gaming Commission to bid for four casino licences in upstate New York on June 30.

RW Orange County has submitted two proposals - one for the Sterling Forest Resort in Tuxedo while the latest bid is for the Resorts World Hudson Valley in Montgomery.

Featuring a European-style building and a lobby with a giant crystal ball, the Hudson Valley resort is expected to generate approximately US$13 million (S$16 million) a year in tax revenues and over US$7 million per year for gaming tax revenues.

The deadline for the intense bidding of these four casino licences was on June 30.

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board has said that bidders seeking to build a casino in Orange County (where both Genting's proposed casinos are located), in upstate New York, will be required to invest a minimum of US$350 million in capital.

For the Catskills and Hudson Valley, competition is the fiercest, with some eight bids coming in, including one from Caesars Entertainment. The valley is considered the most premium location, as it is the closest to New York, being just 50 miles away.

In April, some 22 companies had submitted a US$1 million application fee. Five proposals have since been dropped.

The 17 bids are vying for four casino licences in three regions - the Catskills and Hudson Valley, the Capital area and the Eastern Southern Tier. The state has placed a limit of two casinos for each region.

While eight bids have gone in to the Catskills and Hudson Valley area, five have been submitted for the Capital area and three in the Eastern Southern Tier.

Following their submissions, bidders will need to give oral presentations on or after July 21 to the State Gaming Facility Location Board, which will review the submissions and announce the winners before the end of the year.

Genting Malaysia is a strong contender to win the licence, mainly because of its proven track record and financial muscle. Genting Malaysia's wholly-owned subsidiary, Genting New York LLC, operates the first and only racino in New York City at the Aqueduct Racetrack. A racino is a racing track with a casino.

Since beginning operations on Oct 28, 2011, it is currently the most profitable racino in North America.

It stated that there would be no more than two facilities in any of the three regions. More importantly, there will be no downstate gaming resorts for at least seven years after the first gaming licence is awarded.

Proposals submitted by the gaming groups will be evaluated based on how they balance economic growth and potential tax revenue. Key criteria include the creation of jobs, economic impact, financing availability and speed of construction, among others.

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