Genting Singapore misses profit estimate as gamblers get lucky

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Casino operator Genting Singapore's core earnings fell 35 per cent and missed market estimates as premium gamblers got lucky and won more of their bets.

"Compared to the first quarter of 2012, the first quarter's performance was largely affected by a much weaker win percentage in the premium players' business despite a significant increase in the premium players' rolling volume," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Three years after Singapore allowed casinos to open, Genting Singapore's Resorts World Sentosa and Las Vegas Sands' Marina Bay Sands have become the world's most profitable, but analysts are concerned about a rise in debts from Chinese high-rollers.

Genting Singapore's January-March adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell to S$249.7 million from S$381.4 million a year ago.

Five analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected a profit of S$359 million by the casino operator, which is more than half owned by Malaysia's Genting.

Genting Singapore has shown keen interest in opening a casino in Japan and is interested in significant regional deals.