Resorts World Sentosa to Focus on Premium Customers in $5B Expansion

Posted on: November 15, 2023, 02:12h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 02:39h.

Resorts World Sentosa’s parent company, Genting Singapore Limited, a division of the Genting Group based in Malaysia, is nearly doubling down on its planned renovation and expansion of the integrated casino resort.

Resorts World Sentosa Genting Singapore
An artist’s rendering of the future resort at Resorts World Sentosa. The expansion will add about 700 high-end guestrooms tailored to the premium mass market. (Image: Resorts World Sentosa)

Fresh off a solid third quarter where net profits surged 59% to S$216.3 million (US$160.1 million), bolstered by strong gaming revenue and record room rates, Genting Singapore has decided to increase its expansion of the sprawling resort significantly.

Genting originally planned to spend about $2.9 billion in updating and expanding Resorts World Sentosa when it was first announced in 2019. Work is underway to renovate the Forum, the property’s shopping and dining complex, and the Minion Land theme park inside Universal Studios.

The building of the Singapore Oceanarium is also progressing, with that venue expected to open in early 2025.

With Resorts World business booming in the city-state, Genting is upping the budget for the renovation and expansion to a little more than $5 billion.

Project Expands

Genting Singapore revealed during its third-quarter earnings release that it plans to build a new 700-room hotel and waterfront development on Sentosa Island. A company statement said the new hotel will “form a monumental gateway to Resorts World Sentosa and the new Greater Southern Waterfront precinct.”

The hotel will integrate into nature through “biophilic architecture,” a design philosophy that connects people with nature through buildings. The property will be highlighted by a “striking new waterfront sculpture” that will “transform Singapore’s skyline.”

The forthcoming resort, slated to begin construction next year and be completed by 2031, will target premium mass customers. That’s a bit of a diversion from Resorts World’s longtime focus on families.

RW Sentosa currently operates five hotels with approximately 1,600 rooms. The resort’s current attractions, in addition to Universal Studios Singapore, include the S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, and Dolphin Island. All are tailored toward families.

“We are confident that this investment will firmly anchor Resorts World Sentosa as the most sought-after tourism destination in Asia and propel the Group’s strong future growth,” the company release read.

Genting Singapore says the company’s board has already approved its increased expansion budget of directors.

Analysts Like Premium Focus

Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal wrote in a note following the Genting Singapore news that the company focusing on the premium segment is a bet that should pay off.

Return on invested capital from a more premium product should be higher, as seen in recent Marina Bay Sands results after their hotel suites were launched,” the note read.

Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands hold a duopoly on casino gambling in Singapore.

The two casino resorts received an extension of their gaming privileges in 2019 that runs through January 2031. In exchange, RW Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands each pledged to further invest $3.3 billion into their properties.

Resorts World opened in January 2010 for $5.03 billion. Genting Group is controlled by Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay, who has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion according to Forbes. Genting Group additionally has Resorts World-branded casinos in Malaysia, the UK, the Philippines, the US, and the Caribbean.