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Genting sells half its shares in Echo Entertainment - 20th September 2012

The battle for control of Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of Sydney’s Star casino, has taken a new twist, with Malaysia’s Genting selling down half of its 10 per cent stake.

Genting, which operates casinos in south-east Asia, told the stock exchange last night that it had entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Australia to dispose of a 4.8 per cent stake in Echo at $3.99 a share, a 2.7 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of $4.10. That values the stake at around $158 million.

"This comes after a review by the company to rationalise its investments portfolio," Genting said in a statement. "The disposal is not expected to have any material effect on earnings per share for the current financial year," Shares in Genting rose 2.5 per cent in Singapore trade.

Genting and Crown have been circling Echo for its Sydney Casino, which attracts scores of Asian high rollers and last night’s move may allow Crown to close in on what is Sydney’s only casino operator. Crown, which owns a 10 per cent share in Echo, has sought regulatory approval to boost that holding to 25 per cent. An exit by Genting opens the door for Crown to increase its stake.

"The market, looking at the share price, welcomes this [move]. People didn’t understand what the strategy could be in Australia," said Lucius Chong, an analyst at CIMB Research. "This removes a lot of uncertainty because Genting is good at building casinos, looking at emerging growth, whereas Australia is a mature market," Mr Chong said.

Crown, which operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth, has amassed a 10 per cent stake in Echo, and has sought regulatory approval to go to 25 per cent.

Echo also operates casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville in Queensland. Echo in August reported a net profit for the 2011/12 financial year of $42.2 million, well down on the previous year’s $226 million. Echo recently spent $870 million redeveloping its main asset, The Star, including a $100 million payment to the New South Wales government for exclusivity.

Crown has been lobbying the NSW government to build another casino in Sydney at the Barangaroo redevelopment near the CBD, just across the harbour from The Star.

Malaysian-based parent Genting Group built its stake through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong in June, sparking talk of a potential bidding war. Genting had also sought regulatory approval to increase its holding.

It was not clear whether Genting has withdrawn the application. A spokesman for the regulator was not immediately available to comment on the matter.



Genting UK which trades as Genting Casinos has three key brands across the provincial estate; Circus, Maxims and Mint. Circus is a mass market proposition with 12 locations, Maxims is aimed at the aspirational end of the market and has 8 locations whilst Mint is targeted more towards the "true gamers" and has 20 sites.

The London clubs have retained their separate identities with the exception of the London Mint which is being branded in line with the company wide Mint branding.

Genting Casinos clubs offer visitors a complete night out with restaurants, bars, entertainment, extended openings hours between noon and 6am, as well as gaming.

Genting UK also offer an online casino and poker room, which offers over 100 casino games including classics such as Roulette and Blackjack, as well as being part of one of the world’s biggest poker communities. The site is operated by Genting Alderney Limited and complies with the stringent licensing codes operated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

Since entering the British casino market in 1976, Genting has pursued a policy of acquisition from both private casino operators and public companies. The Group has improved these sites through the introduction of better management and systems as well as extensive refurbishment, extensions and brand new properties.

In a number of cases, casinos have been relocated to larger, purpose-built premises - for example, Mint Leith in Edinburgh and Circus in central Manchester.

Genting's Circus Casino at Star City in Birmingham, which was opened in November 2003, is one of the largest in the UK with a 70,000 sq ft site arranged over several floors, state of the art facilities including gaming tables, slot machines and automated games, and employs around 220 people.

Genting UK is committed to proactively managing and minimising its environmental impact through the adoption of a corporate strategy. As a minimum Genting UK will meet all legislative environmental targets and will endeavour to adopt best practice wherever practicable. A copy of our environmental policy can be found below.

Genting UK plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Singapore plc, part of Genting Berhad, a leading, $US13bn market cap, Malaysian multi national company.


The Genting Story

When it comes to the Genting story, most Malaysians will recognise it as synonymous with the rise of its namesake hill resort,Genting Highlands Resort. Many though may not have truly appreciated the mammoth task involved in its construction and the vast resources and reserves mobilised to ensure what has proven today to be an unprecedented success in resort development.

Looking Back with Pride
The idea of a hill resort was chanced upon by late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong amidst the crisp air of Cameron Highlands in 1964. Tan Sri Lim was then working on a hydro-electric power project at the popular hill resort, patronised mostly by British colonials seeking cool refuge from the tropical heat, when he foresaw a prosperous Malaysia of the future desiring a cool mountain holiday resort within the reach of all Malaysians.

The Challenges
A study of the maps and Kuala Lumpur’s vicinity located the ideal site - the 1,800-metre Gunung Ulu Kali, just 58 km from Kuala Lumpur. Amidst the dense virgin tropical jungle and rugged terrain, the task to transform a remote mountain into Malaysia’s premier holiday destination seemed impossible… but not for Tan Sri Lim.

The Mammoth Task Begins
Setting up a private company called Genting Highlands Berhad on 27 April 1965, with the late Tan Sri Haji Mohammed Noah bin Omar, Tan Sri Lim successfully obtained approval for the alienation of 12,000 acres and 2,800 acres of land from the Pahang and Selangor State Government respectively between the years 1965 and 1970.

On 18 August 1965, a technical and construction team began the herculean task that would take four years to complete the access road from Genting Sempah to the peak of Gunung Ulu Kali.

To ensure the sound and prompt construction of the hotel-cum-resort, Tan Sri Lim devoted all of his time, capital and resources, including the reserves of his family company, Kien Huat Berhad towards the making of this "dream resort".

The Beginning
On 31 March 1969, the late YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister graced the official laying of the foundation stone for the company’s pioneer hotel, the then Highlands Hotel, marking the completion of the access road to Genting Highlands Resort.

The Prime Minister was impressed that the private sector, without the assistance of the Government, could develop a mountain resort for the enjoyment of all Malaysians; a gaming licence was suggested to help accelerate the development of this remote area.

In 1971, the first hotel at Genting Highlands was successfully completed and was then named Highlands Hotel (now renamed Theme Park Hotel).

The Development - Genting Highlands Resort
Since the opening of the first hotel in 1971, Genting Highlands Resort continued to grow from strength to strength. The development of the area continued to this present day to enhance Genting Highlands Resort as the premier holiday destination in the region while ensuring that the natural beauty of the rain forest is maintained.

To date, Genting Highlands Resort has five hotels (namely Genting Hotel, Highlands Hotel, Resort Hotel, Theme Park Hotel and First World Hotel) and two apartment blocks (Ria and Kayangan Apartments) at the hilltop and Awana Genting Highlands Golf and Country Resort.

Together with integrated world-standard entertainment facilities encompassing various leisure, indoor and outdoor theme parks and gaming facilities, Genting Highlands Resort has become the "City of Entertainment" and Malaysia's Premier Resort.

In 1997, Genting Highlands Resort further boosted its facility attraction with Genting Skyway cable car system that provides a 3.38 km transport to the hilltop. Genting Skyway is also recognised as the "World's Fastest Mono Cable Car System" with a maximum speed of 21.6 km per hour and the "Longest Cable Car in Malaysia and Southeast Asia".

The Expansion - Genting Group
Genting Group, founded by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong and with Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay as its Chairman and Chief Executive, has since expanded and diversified from its initial hotel and resort activities to plantation, power generation and oil and gas exploration and production.

Today, Genting Berhad is a leading multinational corporation in Malaysia that has constantly been acknowledged by various organisations for its exemplary leadership and management. Genting Berhad was acknowledged as the No.1 Leading Company in Malaysia for 10 years, i.e. in 2004 and from 1994 to 2002 by The Asian Wall Street Journal 200 (formerly Far Eastern Economic Review 200). Genting Berhad was also rated No.1 in Malaysia and No.2 in Asia for Overall Best Managed Company for the Decade by Asiamoney.

The Passing of a Great Man
Sadly, our Founder Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong passed away peacefully on 23 October 2007 and was laid to rest at Gohtong Memorial Park on 29 October 2007. He will be greatly missed by the management and staff of the Genting Group.

"Once the goals have been clearly defined, with the greatest amount of determination and hard work, one can conclusively realise one's goals."

- Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, Founder

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International Internet Betting Laws

It may seem difficult but it is important that all citizens across the world stay updated with Internet Betting laws. Below you will find what we understand as the laws to online betting in certain areas of the world.

US Internet Betting Laws
The United States of America has the most ambiguous online casino laws in the world. They have passed laws to ban banks from allowing transactions that are deemed illegal, but no one has any idea what the United States considers legal or illegal. Currently, all US citizens are advised to check with local laws before gambling online. Even the online casinos aren't sure if you should be allowed to bet at their site. Some companies don't allow US players, others allow some US players, and some could care less where a player is from.

UK Internet Casino Laws
The UK is the first major country to completely legalize and regulate online gambling. The Gambling Act of 2005 was passed while Prime Minister Tony Blair was in office. Blair had a flair for expanding gambling, but when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister in the UK he provided a tax structure that was so high that most online casino companies were not urged to relocate to England. Today, all web branded casinos that are in a UK approved jurisdiction are legal for UK citizens to play at.

International Online Betting Laws
As the world gets deeper into the 21st century and the Internet becomes a more common cultural tool more and more countries are realizing the reality that is Internet gambling. Currently, Spain, Italy, Germany and other countries have moved to legalize and regulate the industry, while few still look to protect their homeland gaming monopolies. It is extremely important to check all local, state, and federal laws before participating in any online gambling activities.


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