Genting Singapore, the operator of Resorts World Sentosa integrated casino resort in Singapore, announced this week that a plan that would see 8 Japanese subsidiaries shut down was put in motion.
Japanese Subsidiaries on the Chopping Block
According to Genting Singapore’s announcement Tuesday as reported by GGRAsia, the company placed its Japanese units “under members’ voluntary dissolution and liquidation.”
The list of subsidiaries facing the chop includes the company’s directly owned Genting International Japan and seven other indirectly wholly-owned subsidiaries, including those in Yokohama and Osaka.
Genting Singapore’s statement outlined “the members’ voluntary dissolution and liquidation of the subsidiaries” would not affect materially the company’s “consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share” in the financial year ending December 31, 2021.
Genting’s Japanese subsidiaries were created to operate in investment holding, leisure, and hospitality industries, including related businesses to support the company’s integrated resort (IR) bid in Yokohama.
Genting Singapore was among the strong candidates to partner with the city of Yokohama to develop an IR and apply for one of the first three IR slots in the country. The company had its focus and resources on the port city of Yokohama since early 2020 and was one of the two qualified bidders and everything was going smoothly until the city elected a new mayor.
Public IR Opposition and City’s U-Turn
Even before the election of the new mayor, the opposition to the IR project was growing, spearheaded by one of the most influential businessmen and public figures, the 90-year-old chairman of the Yokohama Port Harbor Resort Association (PHRA) Yukio Fujiki.
Fujiki, who is also the chairman and managing director of Fujiki Transportation & Stevedoring and Yokohama FM Broadcasting, publicly stated that he would do whatever it takes to prevent a casino resort from appearing in the port. He would not mind a tiny casino on the edge of the city, though.
Signaling a change in direction, the new mayor of Yokohama Takeharu Yamanaka threw away two years of efforts and investments related to the city’s IR bid. He announced the city would abolish the office set up in 2020 to coordinate resources and facilitate its IR efforts effective October 1, 2021.
Yamanaka also stated the city would withdraw its IR policy and would not apply for one of the three available IR slots nationwide, a development that forced Genting Singapore to shelve its plans to develop a casino resort in Yokohama.
Since Genting Singapore does not have a backup plan to build a casino resort in another Japanese location, the casino company called it a quit and started dismantling the business entities it had created in support of its Yokohama IR bid.