Pandemic Puts Singapore Casino Expansion On Hold

singapore casinos

The entire world is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost all industries around the globe are feeling the effects of the lockdown put in place by several governments.

Recently, Singapore announced that it is putting a hold on all casino expansions in the country.

Casinos across the globe are feeling the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to strict physical distancing rules, casinos are forced to close their operations. Although some countries have allowed the opening of their casino industry, they have to abide by strict protocols that limit their capacity.

Many market analysts have noted that the casino industry can weather the pandemic in the long term. However, analysts suggest that casinos should formulate new short-term strategies until the pandemic is contained.

Singapore pauses casino expansion

In a recent interview, Singapore Tourism Board CEO Keith Tan said that two casinos in the country will be forced to pause their expansion plans because of the pandemic. These casinos are the Marina Bay Sands and Genting Singapore.

However, Singapore’s stance about casino expansion in the country was recently dismissed by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. It is important to note that Las Vegas Sands is the operator of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Mr. Adelson said that his property has lost close to $1 billion during the second quarter of the year, a time when coronavirus spread was at its peak.

Mr. Adelson said that expansion plans in Singapore are facing a delay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Although this is the case, he adds that he remains positive with regards to the long-term sustainability of the industry.

A domino effect

One analyst said that the cancellation, or even a delay, in the casino expansion plans in Singapore will trigger a domino effect that will affect several other sectors. If expansion plans are delayed, this will have a significant impact on the construction industry. Moreover, the delay will also significantly affect the country’s tourism sector.

Based on recent statistics, international arrivals in Singapore have dropped by more than 65% during the first five months of the year compared to the period in 2019. The total number of international arrivals in Singapore for the first five months of the year is estimated to be around 2.66 million.

As a result of this sharp drop in arrivals, tourism revenue also plummeted. Singapore reported a drop of 39% in terms of tourism spending for the first quarter of the year. This monetary terms, this is about $2.92 billion, which is a significant drop from government estimate of more than $4 billion.

The country also reported that spending on tourism activities like sightseeing, gaming, leisure and entertainment dropped by 41% which is about $626 million.

Singapore authorities are relieved that casino operators are adhering to its lockdown protocols. This gives the authorities time to properly strategize how to handle the pandemic and create recommendations based on expert opinion.

Moreover, the country said that the lockdown also gave them time to check the financial records of casinos in the country.

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