Singapore’s casino regulator has renewed the casino licence for Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Marina Bay Sands resort (pictured) in the city-state. The casino licence is held via a subsidiary called Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd.
The renewal is for three years with effect from Tuesday (April 26) and follows an assessment by the city-state’s Casino Regulatory Authority that the casino conforms with its rules, the authority said in a statement. The regulator also took into consideration the “independent opinion of an evaluation panel,” it said.
Singapore in 2007 issued a casino licence respectively to Genting Singapore Plc and Las Vegas Sands to operate one gaming resort each, namely Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. The exclusivity period for those licences expires in 2017.
In February, Genting Singapore had its licence renewed for a three-year period.
Fitch Ratings Inc said in a December report that the Singapore government is “unlikely” to grant new licences to set up new casinos post-2017.
Marina Bay Sands generated adjusted property earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$274.9 million for the first quarter of 2016, down by 33.8 percent from the prior-year period, Las Vegas Sands said in its first quarter results announced last week.
Speaking on a conference call with analysts following the results announcement, Las Vegas Sands’ chairman Sheldon Adelson said the firm might consider selling Marina Bay Sands’ retail assets after a government-imposed moratorium expires next year.
“We always have thoughts of monetising anything except our core assets. We have been thinking about how we cannot monetise anything … in Singapore,” said Mr Adelson.
The company has spoken with potential buyers, he added. “We have been approached. We have been talking to people. The cap rates are attractive, and we may or may not sell a portion.”
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China