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Singapore – Return of Chinese tourism to further boost Singapore’s recovery

By - 24 July 2023

Singapore’s two casinos; Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa will continue their bounce back from the pandemic to break revenue records with Chinese tourism still only at the midpoint of recovery.

Marina Bay Sands has just generated a record US$580m from mass gaming during the second quarter, marking an increase of 36 per cent on 2019’s figures.

CBRE’s John DeCree said: “We still see plenty of room for MBS to run from here, particularly with only ~50 per cent of pre-pandemic airlift capacity from China returning in 2Q23.Moreover, ongoing construction disruption on the casino floor is coming to a close and 200 higher quality suites are coming back online, allowing MBS to drive pricing and cater to higher value customers.”

Las Vegas Sands’ President and COO Patrick Dumont said: “We have very strong feelings about the future success of Singapore. We’re every motivated to make an investment there and expand our capacity. Right now, we’re in discussions with the government about what the final form of our project will look like. There has obviously been a lot of changes to the market in terms of market potential, the government’s goals around high-value tourism and the way we want to grow into that market. There are some adjustments that we are making and hopefully we will have a better sense of what that will look like in the coming quarters.”

Nomura analysts believe that Resorts World Sentosa could see a 39 per cent increase in rolling chip volume for the year as a whole with mass table and slots to increase by 10 per cent.

Nomura’s Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal said: “For Genting Singapore, gross gaming revenue is already back to 90 per cent+ of pre-COVID run rates due to its faster mass recovery, and we think this is also offsetting the ‘leakage’ of Singapore gaming revenue to Macau as Singapore outbound travel to Macau has also risen since the start of the year, suggesting some VIP GGR has shifted from Singapore to Macau. While slower than expected, Chinese travel recovery should continue for the rest of the year, helping Genting Singapore’s earnings in coming quarters.

“Visitors from Greater China to Singapore increased in June 2023 (from 148,000 in May to 167,000) and formed ~44 per cent of 2019 monthly averages, while other regions staged a substantial recovery.”

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