Genting Singapore Doesn’t Expect Immediate Changes as Borders Reopen

Posted on: November 9, 2021, 10:39h. 

Last updated on: November 9, 2021, 11:11h.

Genting Singapore has stated that it does not expect Singapore’s opening of its borders to visitors from select countries to boost Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) anytime soon.

Genting Singapore, seen above, is optimistic about its COVID-19 recovery but doesn’t expect sudden changes as Singapore lifts travel restrictions. (Image: Inside Asian Gaming)

Those comments were part of RWS’s 3Q21 results announcement, which was made Tuesday. Revenue at RWS fell 16% year-on-year and 9% quarter–on–quarter to SG$251.5 million (US $186.8 million). Gaming revenue at the integrated resort (IR) dropped 14%, compared to the June quarter, to SG$194.7 million (US $144.6 million).

Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell 31% to $76.1 million. That drop was due to enhanced safety management measures to reduce the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

New International Travel Gives Singapore a Boost

Singapore made its first major move towards reopening its international borders this month with the launch of a Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) program.

This allows fully vaccinated travelers from 12 countries to visit, including those from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Brunei. Previously, it had been expected that international travel would resume at a more normal pace this past September. But ongoing issues with COVID-19 forced the time line to change.

Genting Singapore stated Tuesday that it was “encouraged” by the VTL and referred to it as a “significant milestone” for the reopening of the country’s borders.

The company added that there would be a slight increase in foreign visitors to the IR, as countries are eligible for quarantine-free travel from non-traditional sources markets. However, the IR may experience an increase in the number of visitors due to a stream of local people leaving for those countries because of the increased demand for international travel.

The lifting of travel restrictions in Singapore is helping Genting Singapore return to normal, with additional restrictions expected to be removed by the end of this month.

The announcement didn’t mention this week’s news about flights between Singapore and Malaysia, which will resume on November 29. But industry experts told Inside Asian Gaming (IAG) that Singapore’s IRs would benefit more if land borders with Malaysia reopened. That is where most mass-market customers arrive. Malaysian customers make up around 25% of Singapore’s mass gross gaming revenue.

Missed Opportunities Won’t Keep Genting Down

Q3 non-gaming revenue saw a strong increase of 12%, compared to the prior quarter’s $37.4 million. This reflects positive growth for the company, coming at a time when it seemed like it had lost a major opportunity. Genting had been involved in what was expected to be a strong candidacy to bring an IR to Yokohama, Japan.

The company was repeatedly seen as a formidable competitor, with great odds of winning the race. However, everything came to an abrupt, but not unforeseeable, halt, as the finish line was approaching. In August, Yokohama elected a new mayor, Dr. Takeharu Yamanaka, and his staunch anti-casino position brought the city’s efforts to a close.

If that was expected to bring the company down, it didn’t happen. Genting continued to receive support from industry analysts, who were predicting a fast recovery in Singapore and Malaysia, and the casino operator has been able to find solid ground.

Genting Berhad, Genting Singapore’s parent company, is behind other Resorts World IRs, including the newly-inaugurated Resorts World Las Vegas. That property has boosted Genting’s overall performance and helped it reduce, by US $209.8 million, the losses that were partly fueled by COVID-19.