Malaysian Prime Minister Denies Plans for Forest City Casino

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has denied that there are plans to build a casino in the multibillion-dollar development Forest City.

Casino plans not officially announced for Malaysia’s Forest City

Listen to this news articleLISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE:

Earlier this week, a report was published by Bloomberg and subsequently picked up by local news claiming that a casino license would be issued as part of efforts to rejuvenate the development. However, speaking to reporters, Anwar said, “No casino license. It is a lie … it is not true”.

Forest City Struggling to Attract Buyers

Chinese property developer Country Garden is behind Forest City, but it has faced difficulties attracting buyers for the $100 billion project due to capital controls imposed by the Chinese government.

It was reported that Anwar met two Malaysian tycoons and representatives of King Ibrahim Iskandar to discuss the option of developing a casino. According to the report, the two tycoons were Lim Kok Thay, who works for the Genting Group, and Vincent Tan, founder of Berjaya Corp.

However, Berjaya Corp quickly released a statement denying that Tan had taken part in any talks regarding a casino in Forest City.

In general, gambling is considered taboo in Malaysia, especially amongst the predominantly Muslim Malay population.

More Regulation News

Politically Difficult Yet Financially Rewarding

However, while gambling may be considered taboo, it is a financially rewarding industry in Malaysia. The Genting Group has been operating Malaysia’s only casino since 1969 and in 2023, it reported gross revenue of roughly $2.1 billion and paid close to $66 million in tax to the government.

Analysts, though, believe that building a new casino in Forest City may not bring in that much money, primarily due to China’s crackdown on its citizens gambling abroad.

Furthermore, it is thought that the political consequences of a second casino may be more than Prime Minister Anwar is able to deal with. Analysts believe that a Malay-Muslim leader will not be able to issue a second casino license without significant repercussions.


Leave a Comment

user avatar
My Name United States of America
Your Comment

User Comments

Comments for Malaysian Prime Minister Denies Plans for Forest City Casino