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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19:

The much-anticipated decision on casino licences in New York, where Genting Group is bidding for two sites, is expected to drag on beyond this week as the US state Gaming Facility Location Board yesterday said it isn’t ready yet to make the final calls.

The board’s chairman Kevin Law, in a letter to state Gaming Commission chairman Mark Gearan, said: “We are scheduled to meet again this upcoming Friday, Nov 21. We expect to be able to make a decision at our next meeting.”

But, the next meeting date has yet to be set, reported the Poughkeepsie Journal.

The decision had earlier been expected last month, but was delayed due to mid-term New York City senate elections – which saw the Republican party taking a majority of 32 out of 63 seats in the senate, indicating voter opposition to the casino proposals hadn’t been as stiff as had been initially projected.

The bidding process had been shortlisted to 16 firms, including Genting Americas – which submitted two separate applications to build casinos in the north of New York City.

Winning at least one of the bids is especially critical for Genting as it is pushing further into the gaming and casino businesses, while culling its energy portfolio.

After winning approval to open its first casino in Las Vegas just weeks ago, the group is now looking towards tapping into another major market of Japan once casino laws are passed there.

The group has also been steadily been selling its power assets, with the most recent being the sale of a 51% stake in a 724MW coal-fired power plant in Fujian, China for 694 million yuan (RM355.3mil) operated by Fujian Pacific Electric Company Ltd in July.

In August 2012, Genting sold its Malaysian power generation business to 1Malaysia Development Bhd for RM2.3 billion as well as selling its lands in Kuala Langat.

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