Genting Malaysia Puts $100M Into its Empire Resorts New York Gambling Business

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Genting Malaysia has announced it is investing a further $100 million in its New York casinos and sports betting business, Empire Resorts. That includes Resorts World Catskills (pictured), Resorts World Hudson Valley, and Resorts World Bet in the New York sports betting market.

This strategic move is executed through Genting Malaysia’s subsidiary, Genting ER II LLC, which will be buying $100 million worth of Empire Resorts stock. Empire will use $58 million of the cash to pay off an outstanding loan, and use the rest for ongoing business concerns.

With this investment, Genting Malaysia’s total cash investment in Empire has now hit $724.4 million, boosting its ownership stake to a commanding 90%.

“The proceeds from the Series M subscription will be utilized by Empire for working capital purposes and to fully repay an existing bank facility of approximately US$58 million held by its holding company, (GERL),” Genting Malaysia said in a corporate filing this week.

“In addition, this will allow a quicker ramp-up for Resorts World Hudson Valley (RWHV), and enable Empire to continue its focus on strengthening Resorts World Catskills’ (RWC) operating performance to realize its full potential.”

Empire Resorts is not involved in the operations of NYC casino Resorts World New York, although they are both owned by parent company Genting.

Genting’s US Commitment

Empire Resorts operates Resorts World Catskills and Resorts World Hudson Valley casinos, as well as New York horse racing venue Monticello Race Course.

It also offers New York sports betting under the Resorts World Bet brand. Despite being in the nation’s largest market, the operation has struggled to break into the top of the field. New York State Gaming Commission data reveals it hasn’t made losses, like some operators in the market have. But it hasn’t set the field alight, either.

Resorts World Bet pulled in $10.429 million in handle in December 2023 out of the overall $2.04 billion wagered in that record month for revenues. That meant approximately 0.5% of the market share, even with its best overall handle of the year.

Genting will hope this latest round of investments will provide all its Empire State gambling operations with the necessary capital infusion to optimize their performance and market competitiveness.

“The proposed equity injection will also allow Genting Malaysia to reinforce its position and grow its market presence in the expanding New York State gaming market to compete effectively in the north-eastern U.S. region,” the filings said.

“Resorts World Catskills will also be able to continue benefiting from the operating synergies with Resorts World New York City.”

Past and Future Investments

This latest cash share purchase is part of a series of financial commitments by Genting Malaysia in Empire Resorts, dating back to 2019. Since then, Genting has progressively increased its stake and influence in the company, reflecting its confidence in Empire Resorts’ potential in one of the biggest U.S. markets.

The total investment of $724.4 million by Genting Malaysia in Empire Resorts is part of Genting’s position as the largest Asian investor in the U.S. gambling business.

In the near future, it is looking to expand its Resorts World New York, not operated by Empire, into a full casino by obtaining one of three upcoming licenses for full casino operations in downstate New York.

However, competition is tight with dozens of international operators, including Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Hard Rock, and Caesars Entertainment also ready to apply.

Elsewhere in the U.S., Genting also operates among Nevada casinos, with Resorts World Las Vegas. Globally, it runs a dozen casinos in the Asian market, and more than 30 casinos across the pond in the United Kingdom, including high-end London gambling parlor Crockfords.

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