Malaysian property developer claims right to second casino license

    Malaysian property developer, Tan Sri Low Yow Chuan, has claimed he has the right of first refusal should Malaysia decide to allow a second gambling license in the country. Currently, Genting Bhd has the casino monopoly for its Resorts World Genting property. According to The Star newspaper, the license was granted in 1970 by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman to the 81-year-old patriarch of the Low Yat group and reaffirmed in 1993. The license was allegedly granted in return for building a 100 million ringgit resort ($322.5 million) on Langkawi island. However, he didn’t proceed with a casino at the time because the island was too remote and lacked the necessary infrastructure, it said. The company wrote to the Treasury on the issue in 1993 and received a written reply saying that “the Government has no intention of issuing a casino licence presently, but if however, a reverse decision is made, Yow Chuan would be given an opportunity for ‘a right of first refusal’,” he told the newspaper. Yow Chuan’s comments come after billionaire Vincent Tan said he intended to apply for a license to operate a casino in Berjaya Hills, a resort area in Pahang. Tan said he would invest 3 billion ringgit ($933 million) in the complex. However, analysts said they thought it highly unlikely that the government would award a second permit.