Analysts Predict Full Singapore Casino Revenue Recovery Won’t Occur Until 2026

Posted on: June 9, 2021, 10:24h. 

Last updated on: June 9, 2021, 10:42h.

The two casinos in Singapore will not see their gaming revenues fully recover until sometime in 2026. That’s according to a new note from gaming analysts at Bernstein.

Singapore casino revenue Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands, one of two casino resorts in Singapore. Gaming analysts believe 2019 casino revenues will not return until 2025 or later. (Image: Reuters)

Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa remain deeply impacted by COVID-19. Singapore continues to impose stringent entry controls into the island city-state. But conditions are improving. 

Dr. Hsu Li Yang, an infectious diseases expert at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, says a gradual relaxation of coronavirus restrictions should soon come. He expects that the country’s health officials in the coming weeks will slowly ease protocols, including allowing people to eat inside restaurants. But the doctor says face mask mandates will likely remain for the foreseeable future. 

Singapore recently identified a new variant strain of COVID-19. Known as B.1.617, the variant is said to be more contagious. However, Singapore’s ongoing restrictions have, for now, limited its spread. The country reported only four new cases today, the lowest single-day tally in nearly four months.

Long Recovery

Singapore’s two integrated casino resorts have been severely impacted by COVID-19 over the past 16 months. And Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu say recovery isn’t exactly on the horizon. 

There remains uncertainty around travel restriction loosening in Singapore (and the feeder markets) and the economic impact from COVID-19 on feeder markets (in particular, Malaysia and Indonesia),” their note explained.

Bernstein projects that gross gaming revenue in 2021 will grow 12 percent in 2020 to approximately $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 percent of 2019 level by 2025, with mass recovering above historical levels, but VIP remaining sluggish,” the note added. 

Prior to the pandemic, Marina Bay Sands was the most profitable casino resort in the world. In 2019, its casino’s GGR totaled more than $2.16 billion. The resort’s hotel rooms generated revenue of $404 million on an average daily room rate of $450. 

Mass Development

Just before the health crisis struck the world, Singapore extended the operating licenses for Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World through January 2031. In exchange for the duopoly, both casino properties pledged to each further invest at least $3.3 billion into their complexes.

The investments are primarily focused on the mass market by way of new non-gaming attractions. That, Bernstein believes, will result in increased gaming revenue in the years ahead from the general public. 

“With the opening of Phase 2 developments for Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands, we expect the mass market to grow with the expansions beyond 2025,” the analysts concluded.