Promised Singapore Casino Resort expansions postponed to 2028

Two massive integrated casino complexes in Singapore will miss previously agreed expansion targets, impacting not only their medium-term growth strategies but also potential government revenues.

In 2019, in Maritime Southeast Asia, the Republic of Singapore reached agreements with resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands for casino expansion. The investments were reportedly valued at approximately US$6.77 billion (approximately SG$9 billion).

According to a report by Japan’s Nikkei Asia, Marina Bay Sands owner Las Vegas Sands announced in March 2023 that it would postpone its target date, the second time it has made such an announcement and following one in the previous year.

The towers of the hotel and the arena will be completed in 2028

Under the new program, construction of a proposed 1,000-suite hotel tower and a 15,000-seat multipurpose stadium will begin in April next year and be completed by April 2028.

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), located on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, broke ground on a new attraction at Universal Studios Singapore, located on the resort grounds there, and renovation work on the on-site aquarium. No activity was reported at a new hotel in the complex, previously announced as part of the planned expansion.

The expansion at RWS was originally scheduled to be completed next year or 2025, but in 2020 the resort’s parent company, Genting Singapore, said the Covid crisis would delay the project’s completion. indefinitely. No specific date for completion has been announced, but Nekeii media reports that an Asian analyst has mentioned 2027 or 2028 as the most likely.

Almost all construction work was sidelined Singapore due to the coronavirus outbreak for most of 2020 and most of 2021. Impacts included not only a shortage of migrants to get the job done, but also supply chain disruptions that made sourcing building materials difficult.

Chinese tourism is expected to recover

According to analysts at Malayan Banking Berhad, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the region and particularly the integrated resorts will decrease by the end of 2023 Marina Bay Sands And Resorts World Sentosa, Return to pre-pandemic levels. However, the delay in growth plans comes with some risk of discouraging visitors from coming.

Global inflation also has the potential to increase project costs. While Genting Singapore posted a net profit of around 86% in 2022 compared to 2021, last year’s profit was still about half of what it was in 2019 at SG$340 million (US$255 million). Given that China has been easing activity related to Covid travel restrictions lately, those numbers are expected to pick up at some point.

Another Chinese tourist destination with casinos has experienced significant growth and a steady increase in sales since the policy of covid zero” from China was scrapped following civil unrest on the mainland and a recommendation from health officials there that mitigation measures more in line with those in the rest of the world should be implemented.

Spring: Singapore’s casino resort expansions have been observed with delaysNikkei Asia, April 9, 2023

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