Genting Malaysia is allocating another $150 million to Empire Resorts, the financially ailing unit that controls one of the operator’s New York casinos.
In a recent filing with Malaysian securities regulators, Genting said it agreed to another round of financing for the parent of Resorts World Catskills with that capital coming in the form of Series L preferred stock, which was partially funded by $1 billion corporate debt sale completed in April.
Genting said the money will be used to reduce Empire Resorts’ $365 million in liabilities, some of which are the result of the coronavirus pandemic and some of which stem from the operator’s efforts to expand in the fourth-largest US state.
Empire Resorts isn’t a stranger to financial difficulty. In 2019 when it was then a public company, the operator teetered on the brink of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. That plan was rejected by investors who ultimately approved a proposal by casino mogul K.T. Lim and Genting to take the unit private.
Genting now controls a 49 percent stake in the US-based company, which also owns the nearby Monticello Raceway.
Improving Outlook for Resorts World Catskills
New York casinos endured lengthy shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the industry is getting back to normal in the state.
Resorts World Catskills reopened in September 2020 and since April of this year is showing “strong records of gross gaming revenues close to and exceeding pre-pandemic levels for some months,” said Genting in the regulatory filing.
Genting owns Resorts World New York City (RWNY) in Queens, as well as Resorts World Catskills in the northern part of New York.
In 2013, New York voters signed off on seven commercial casinos across the state, with four eventually located in the upstate area. Those licenses were granted in 2016 with a seven-year exclusivity period, meaning casinos in the New York City area aren’t yet able to offer table games and sports betting.
Regarding sports betting, Empire Resorts stands to benefit if it’s able to procure a license to offer online wagering, assuming New York approves that.
Genting Rising Player in US
With the recent debut of the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, Genting is increasing its footprint in the US, leading to speculation that the Malaysian conglomerate will eventually pursue a US equity listing for its assets in this country.
Those include the Strip venue, Resorts World Catskills, RWNY, Resorts World Bimini Resort and Marina in the Bahamas, and a 30-acre parcel of land in Miami the company wants to build a casino on.
Some analysts believe such an entity could be worth close to $2 billion and that figure doesn’t account for the Las Vegas property.
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