Casino duopoly in Singapore may not see their revenues fully recover until 2026
Prior to the pandemic, Marina Bay Sands was the most profitable casino resort in the world. Its GGR totaled more than $2.16 billion in 2019.
Dr. Hsu Li Yang, an infectious diseases expert at the National University of Singapore, says a gradual relaxation of restrictions should soon come. He expects that in the coming weeks will slowly ease protocols, including allowing people to eat inside restaurants.
Singapore recently identified a new variant strain of COVID-19. Known as B.1.617, and is said to be more contagious. However, the city’s ongoing restrictions have, for now, limited its spread.
Singapore’s two integrated casino resorts have been severely impacted over the past 16 months. And Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu say recovery isn’t exactly on the horizon.
According to note from Bernstein, there remains uncertainty around travel restriction loosening in Singapore and the economic impact on feeder markets, Malaysia and Indonesia in particular.
Bernstein projects that gross gaming revenue in 2021 will grow 12% in 2020 to about $940 million, and in 2022 to $1.36 billion.
As to when the Singapore gaming floors might return to the $1.9 billion they won in 2019 prior to the pandemic, the analysts say that won’t happen until 2025 or later.
“Longer term, we forecast Singapore market GGR to recover to 94% of 2019 level by 2025, with mass recovering above historical levels, but VIP remaining sluggish,” the note added.
Just before the pandemic struck the world, Singapore extended the licenses for Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World through January 2031. In exchange for the duopoly, both casino operator pledged to further invest at least $3.3 billion into their complexes.
Editing by Rachel Hu