Singapore casino complex Resorts World Sentosa (pictured) – owned by Genting Singapore Ltd – announced on Thursday that access to its casino is to be limited to existing Genting Rewards card members and to Singapore nationals or residents who have paid the annual entry-levy charge applicable to them. The new entry rules come into effect from 11.59pm on Thursday (March 26), according to a statement from the venue.
Marina Bay Sands, the other casino resort in Singapore’s duopoly, also announced that day it was limiting use of its casino facilities to “Sands Rewards Club Gold and above” members, and “patrons with existing valid annual levies”. It said this was to “ensure full compliance with the Singapore government’s safe-distancing regulations”.
The moves are linked to efforts in Singapore to prevent any further impact locally of the novel coronavirus pandemic and its associated Covid-19 disease.
Resorts World Sentosa said in its Thursday statement: “We have fully implemented all the safe-distancing measures from government advisories at the casino.”
It added the steps included limiting the patron-carrying capacity of the venue “per 16 square metres [172 sq. ft] of usable space”, and “not permitting entry to groups of more than 10 patrons,” as well as “allowing at least one metre of space between patrons”.
Other precautionary measures adopted at Resorts World Sentosa’s casino are said to include: alternate seating arrangements for players of table games and electronic gaming machines so that they are not side-by-side; limiting the number of players per table by using “stickers” indicating where players may place themselves; not accepting bets by standing patrons; and rotating dealers more frequently on the gaming floor to limit their time in contact with patrons.
The complex also noted it had crowd-control measures and disinfection procedures in place in relation to activities by dealers and patrons; and for the gaming facilities in general.
Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) said in an email on Wednesday in response to an enquiry from GGRAsia: “The casino operators have implemented safe distancing and crowd control measures for their casinos from the start of the Covid-19 situation.”
Singapore safety steps
Singapore has banned from its shores – with effect from the stroke of midnight on Tuesday – all foreign short-term visitors and transit passengers.
As of March 25, Singapore’s Ministry of Health had recorded a total of 631 confirmed cases of infection involving the novel coronavirus, with a majority of the recent ones identified as imported. Singapore’s first case – announced on January 23 – involved a 66-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan, who had arrived the city-state with his family on January 20.
The CRA noted to us on Wednesday: “To reduce the risk of further local transmission of Covid-19, the Singapore Ministry of Health has issued its latest advisory on March 24, 2020 (Tuesday) mandating stricter safe distancing measures, which both casino operators will have to comply with.”
“CRA will continue to closely monitor the situation, and work with the relevant authorities to ensure that these measures are properly implemented, and introduce further measures as necessary,” the gaming regulator added.
According to the Ministry of Health, indoor entertainment shows and certain outdoor attractions are to be suspended. Operators of food and drink outlets also have to ensure separation of at least 1 metre between tables or separate groups of diners.
Marina Bay Sands said on its website that – in compliance with government instructions for such spaces – it was suspending from Thursday onwards operation of its Sands Theatre, its Avenue lounge bar, and the bars within the property’s restaurants.
The resort had previously suspended its usual night-time light and water show Spectra. That stopped on February 8. Since March 13 its Marquee nightclub has also been out of use.
But in its latest notice, Marina Bay Sands stated that most other attractions, restaurants and shops remain open with “safe distancing” measures in place.
Resorts World Sentosa said on its official website that key non-gaming facilities – Universal Studios Singapore; S.E.A. Aquarium and Dolphin Island – remained open, but within those attractions certain rides or shows would not be available for health-control reasons from Friday (March 27) until further notice.
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Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu
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