Posted on: March 8, 2023, 08:00h.
Last updated on: March 8, 2023, 08:10h.
Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore has struck a partnership with LIV Golf, the controversial global professional golf tour funded by Saudi Arabi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The sovereign wealth fund is among the world’s richest with assets estimated at $620 billion.
The 2023 LIV Golf Season teed off last month in Mexico with LIV Golf Mayakoba. The tour next stops in Tucson, Az., on March 17-19.
LIV Golf Singapore is set for April 28-30 at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course. Resorts World Singapore, one of the world’s largest integrated resort destinations that features a casino floor spanning 160,000 square feet with more than 2,400 slot machines and 500 table games, will be the presenting sponsor of LIV Golf Singapore.
We are bringing LIV Golf to Singapore as it is part of our DNA to offer new and premium experiences to our wide range of visitors. Many of our premium visitors are also golf enthusiasts and this event will appeal to them,” commented RW Sentosa CEO Tan Hee Teck.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman, who serves as CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, said the golf tournament will bring some of the world’s best golfers to Singapore, a “market deserving of our sport’s top competition and event experiences.”
Resorts World Sentosa shares a duopoly on casino gambling in Singapore with Marina Bay Sands, which is owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands.
LIV Golf has been scolded on the global political stage for being a front for the Saudi government to improve its public image through “sportswashing.” In the United States, many residents, journalists, and PGA Tour players continue to have a negative opinion of the Saudis because of the country’s alleged ties to financing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Despite the controversy, LIV Golf’s massive sign-on bonuses and $25 million tournament purses have managed to poach numerous high-profile players from the PGA Tour. Notable golf superstars who have jumped for LIV include Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka.
Resorts World Sentosa’s parent organization is the Genting Group, a Malaysia-based conglomerate with investments in gaming and hospitality, oil and gas, agriculture, science and biotechnology, and power generation. While Genting’s Resorts World New York City property is far less likely to back a US-based LIV Golf event, the Singapore tournament will presumably cause far less controversy for the global conglomerate.
Tan, who was elevated to his CEO role in May 2022, says Resorts World’s sponsorship of LIV Golf Singapore is part of the casino’s ongoing commitment to bringing world-class entertainment and attractions to the city-state.
Former President Donald Trump is a big fan of LIV Golf and is lending several of his golf courses to the tour. The 2023 LIV Golf League consists of 14 tournaments, and three of them are set for courses with Trump in their name.
LIV Golf Washington, DC, set for May 26-28, will be contested at Trump National Golf Club outside the nation’s capital in Sterling, Va. LIV Golf Bedminster, slated for Aug. 11-13, will be played at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. And on Oct. 20-22, LIV Golf Miami will be contested at Trump National Doral.
Trump said last fall that LIV Golf is backed by “good people with unlimited money.”
New York Impact
Genting is pursuing a downstate full-scale casino license for RW New York City. The casino in Queens near JFK International Airport is currently limited to video lottery terminals and electronic table games. A full-scale casino license would allow the property to bring Las Vegas-style slots, live dealer table games, and sports betting to the property.
Along with MGM Resorts’ Empire City Casino in Yonkers, Resorts World is considered one of the front-runners for one of the three downstate casino licenses.