The Malaysian gaming group Genting International, which has European interests, had bad news for investors this week with Q1 2008 profits dipping 91 percent to $4.4 million (Q1 2007: 49 million) as a consquence of reduced action in its British land casinos, and a higher incidence of bad debts.
Genting entered the UK gaming market in 2005 with its acquisition of Maxims casino, followed by that of Stanley Leisure in 2006. The group operates some 41 terrestrial casinos in Britain under the Circus, Mint and Maxims brands, and has also acquired a 10 percent shareholding in Rank Group plc (see previous InfoPowa report), sparking speculation of a bidding war for the UK bingo and casino operator whose share value has declined since an earnings warning in October 2007.
The light at the end of the tunnel may lie in one paragraph of the company's extensive financial report, which notes that the group received approval from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited earlier this year for it to undertake online gambling operations in Alderney and the United Kingdom.
Subsequent to that approval, Genting Stanley Alderney Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group, received its online gaming licence from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission in March 2008.
The permission to go live is subject to the AGCC’s approval of the new operation's Internal Control System and Gambling [software] equipment, but GSAL anticipates that its online gaming businesses will commence during the later part of the second quarter of 2008. It is not presently known which gambling software will power the new venture.
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