Since the start of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, all casinos and resorts were forced to shut down temporarily. However, it has been three months since the shutdown, and some resorts are beginning to open up again. Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa, which are two integrated resorts in Singapore will resume full gaming operations on Wednesday, July 1.
Reopening Day for Singapore’s Casinos Is July 1!
For the past few weeks, these two venues have been working at partial capacity, with the exclusion of gaming amenities. The Singapore tourism board (STB) and the ministry of trade and industry (MTI) signed off on proposals by Marina Bay sands to restart Art and Science Museum, Skypark, and Observation Deck and casino. However, the Resorts world has given green light to the reopening of the universal studios Singapore, S.E.SA Aquarium, and its gaming floor.
As a further measure of precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the STB has said that most of the attractions in these resorts will be restricted to no more than 25 per cent of their operating capacity at any one time, for a start.
Nature Of The Reopening
As seen is observed in the case of the reopening of the gaming markets, the business in Singapore will be very different for either the MBS parent company Las Vegas Sands or Resorts World owner Genting Singapore.
To gain entry to either of these two venues, citizens and residents of Singapore must be annual levy holders. An additional requirement for those seeking admittance to MBS is that they are gold status or higher in the Sands Rewards Club, while gamblers wanting entry into Resorts World must be Genting Reward members.
The annual levy is a subscription cover charge of sorts that gamblers pay to enter the city-state’s casinos, and it’s a major moneymaker for the government, generating $1 billion in receipts over the past decade. Last year, policymakers there boosted the annual pass fee from $1,466 to $2,220. There’s also a daily fee of about $110 for travellers that aren’t frequent visitors to the gaming properties.
In 2019, MBS and Resorts World combined for approximately $4 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR). After Macau, Singapore is the second-largest market for Sands based on both earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and turnover.
The Reopening Date Is Hopefully A Good Timing
The news about the reopenings in Singapore comes just days after Moody’s Investors Service forecast that 2020 EBITDA for operators with exposure to the Asia-Pacific region will tumble as much as 70 per cent due to travel restrictions and gaming property closures. The research firm rates debt issued by nine gaming companies operating in Asia-Pacific markets and has the highest ratings on Genting Singapore and LVS.
Still, some analysts see a long road back to normalcy for the two Singapore operators. Citing lethargic international travel and the need for social distancing measures on casino floors, Bernstein said earlier this month Singapore GGR won’t return to 2019 levels until 2023.
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