Resorts World Sentosa Casino Remains Open, as Neighboring Sands Shutters

Posted on: July 23, 2021, 10:56h. 

Last updated on: July 23, 2021, 11:30h.

Resorts World Sentosa says its casino space will remain open despite Singapore retreating to a more restrictive COVID-19 phase amid rising coronavirus case numbers.

Resorts World Sentosa Singapore COVID-19 Sands
A resident in Singapore rides an escalator at Marina Bay Sands. While that casino is temporarily closing following a COVID-19 outbreak, nearby Resorts World Sentosa remains open for play. (Image: Getty)

In the past five days, Singapore has confirmed 816 new COVID-19 infections. As a result of the surge, Singapore has reverted from Phase 3 to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). The classification reduces social gatherings from a maximum of five people to two, mandates work-from-home for all possible jobs, orders restaurants to only offer takeout, and indicates masks are to be worn in all public settings.

Despite the reimplantation of restrictions, RW Sentosa says its casino is open for business, albeit in a greatly reduced capacity. 

Resorts World Sentosa will remain operational at reduced guest capacity for its offerings, including Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, and casino … until August 18, 2021,” a resort statement explained.

The gaming floor, measuring some 175,000 square feet, will be limited to approximately 25 percent of its typical fire code capacity. 

Sands Closes

Singapore has a duopoly on commercial gambling. Along with Resorts World Sentosa, Marina Bay Sands is the other licensed casino destination.

Owned by Las Vegas Sands, the integrated resort confirmed this week that it’s closing its casino for “deep cleaning.” The announcement comes after a cluster of new COVID-19 cases was linked to the Marina Bay Sands casino.

“Our epidemiological investigations have found that there is likely ongoing transmission at the casino,” said Singapore’s Ministry of Health. “To break the chain of transmission and enable deep cleaning of the premises, Marina Bay Sands will be closed to all members of the public from July 22 to August 5, 2021.”

During Sands’ second quarter earnings call this week, the Nevada-headquartered casino company said it expects ongoing operating disruptions caused by COVID-19 to have a negative impact on Marina Bay Sands in the third quarter.

“Pandemic-related travel restrictions continue to impact our performance. We do remain confident in the eventual recovery in both Macau and Singapore,” Sands CEO Rob Goldstein told investors. 

The Sands boss added that there’s no immediate time line for the resumption of air travel into Singapore. That’s something desperately needed to return Marina Bay Sands to its status of being the world’s most profitable casino. 

Vaccinated People Infected

The surge in new COVID-19 cases in Singapore isn’t because of vaccination hesitancy. Nearly three in four Singapore residents are at least partially vaccinated, and half of the population fully vaccinated.

Instead, the Singaporean government says its new cases are being detected in people who are purportedly immune to COVID-19. Of the 1,096 locally transmitted infections in the past 28 days, 484 cases — or around 44 percent — have been diagnosed in supposedly fully vaccinated individuals.

Thirty percent of the new cases were in partially vaccinated people, and 25 percent in unvaccinated persons.

However, those who have tested positive who are at least partially vaccinated have reported no serious symptoms. Eight unvaccinated persons who are positive have required oxygen, and one is in serious condition in an intensive care unit.