Singapore to Extend Marina Bay Sands, Resorts World Sentosa Closures, as Coronavirus Cases Tops 30,000

Posted on: May 24, 2020, 11:10h. 

Last updated on: May 24, 2020, 11:31h.

Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa will remain closed past their schedule June 1 reopenings, the Singapore Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) confirms.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands RW Sentosa
Singapore’s two casinos – Marina Bay Sands (pictured) and Resorts World Sentosa – are to remain closed through the beginning of June. (Image: Marina Bay Sands)

GGRAsia, a media outlet focused on Asian gaming matters, says the CRA confirmed a mandatory extension will be issued for the state’s two integrated resort casinos. The properties were directed to shutter on April 7 and have remain closed since.

After initially being ordered to suspend operations until May 4, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extended the closures of all nonessential businesses through June 1. Now, just a week before some of the restrictions are scheduled to be lifted, casinos are being told they won’t be included in the first wave.

“The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on May 19 the list of businesses which are allowed to resume operations from June 2 onwards. Casinos are not included within the list,” the CRA told GGRAsia.

Marina Bay Sands is owned by US-based casino operator Las Vegas Sands – the world’s premiere IR company. Resorts World Sentosa is controlled by Malaysian-based Genting Group.

Coronavirus Spreading

Singapore continues to see a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 patients. The city-state in Southeast Asia has now eclipsed 30,000 positive coronavirus cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports Singapore has 30,426 confirmed coronavirus cases, but the disease has been cited for just 23 deaths. Marina Bay Sands says, when permitted, the large integrated resort will be ready to reopen safely.

Marina Bay Sands has been working hard to boost our business resiliency and enhance public health after the pandemic. Some 40 task forces have been set up during the current temporary closure to explore how to improve operations in the post-COVID world, from reimagining our MICE and F&B venue set-up to designing masks and goggles that seek to protect both staff and guests,” the resort explained.

“Some 1,000 staff – working in staggered shifts – in security, facilities, and cleaning departments, have been deployed on site during this period to maintain the cleanliness and safety of our iconic property,” a statement added. “We aim to create a safe and controlled environment for our guests and Team Members when we reopen, using innovative technologies to redesign the integrated resort’s hardware and customer experience.”

Both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are certified SG Clean venues. The Singapore government issues the SG Clean certifications to properties that display a commitment towards the highest levels of sanitization and hygiene.

Singapore Gaming Industry

Singapore’s two casinos reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $5.9 billion last year. In exchange for extending their duopoly through at least 2030, Sands and Genting agreed in April 2019 to further invest $3.3 billion each into their properties.

Billionaire Sands owner Sheldon Adelson is confident the investment is still sound, saying during the company’s earnings report last month that it will strengthen its leadership position in Singapore.

“We remain excited to be a part of Singapore’s continued growth, as a leading business, tourism, and leisure destination,” Adelson explained.