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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gaming seen less spectacular

Publication: NST
Date of publication: Dec 31, 2013
Section heading: Business Times
Page number: 002

KUALA LUMPUR: The local gaming sector will have no sparks for now, making the near-term future less exciting for stocks such as Genting Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and Magnum Bhd, a research firm said.

RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd said the sector will face potential earnings headwinds from the goods and services tax (GST) implementation in April 2015.

The domestic casinos' relatively unexciting growth prospects vis-a-vis Macau's casinos in the medium-term will keep investors at bay, it said.

Malaysia's current gaming-related taxes (i.e 25 per cent casino tax, eight per cent gaming tax and eight per cent pool betting duties on NFOs) are already higher than Singapore's (i.e GST of seven per cent on top of five per cent and 15 per cent taxes on the VIP and mass market segments, respectively), RHB Research noted.

Therefore, it does not discount the possibility of more hikes in the existing gaming duties as the government seeks ways to beef up the nation's tax collection.

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