The Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino resort (pictured) in Singapore said in a statement it was “temporarily closing” its casino for “deep cleaning” with effect from 6am today (Thursday, July 22). The gaming venue will be closed to the public until August 5, according to a separate statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Health.
The ministry said in a Wednesday release it had “detected 11 cases linked to a [Covid-19] cluster” at the Marina Bay Sands casino.
It also said it was investigating cases of Covid-19 infection involving individuals “who worked in or visited” the gaming venue. “Our epidemiological investigations have found that there is likely ongoing transmission at the casino,” it stated.
The health authorities added: “To break the chain of transmission and enable deep cleaning of the premises, Marina Bay Sands casino will be closed to all members of the public from 22 July to 5 August 2021.”
The ministry said additionally that it was “conducting special testing operations for all staff” of the casino at the property. “We will also extend free Covid-19 testing to members of the public who had visited Marina Bay Sands casino between 7 July and 21 July, 2021,” it added.
Marina Bay Sands is run by a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp, also the parent of Macau operator Sands China Ltd. The Singapore venue said it would provide an “update once a reopening date has been established” for the casino.
Management of Las Vegas Sands said on Wednesday that Marina Bay Sands’ third-quarter performance would be negatively impacted by the closure of the casino, as well as tighter restrictions as Covid-19 countermeasures. The comments were made during the firm’s second-quarter earnings call.
The closure of the casino at Marina Bay Sands coincided with the reintroduction of tighter measures to curb the worsening Covid-19 situation in Singapore. Since Thursday, Singapore has reverted to a so-called “phase two (heightened alert)”, in effect until at least August 18.
The casino at Marina Bay Sands closed for just over two days in May for “deep cleaning” occasioned by two casino floor workers getting Covid-19.
In its latest statement, Marina Bay Sands said that the rest of the property would continue to operate “on revised capacities and stricter measures.”
The hotel would remain open, but each room can only accommodate a maximum of two people. A number of the resort’s attractions will operate at a reduced capacity of 25 percent, down from a previous cap of 50 percent.
The shopping mall at the property is now subject to a capacity limitation of one person per 16 square metres (172.2 sq feet). Several restaurants and the Marquee nightclub at the complex are “closed until further notice”.
Singapore is home to a casino duopoly, with the other casino complex – Resorts World Sentosa – operated by Genting Singapore Ltd. As of Thursday morning, a notice on Resorts World Sentosa casino website said the gaming venue remained open. Each gaming table at the casino is limited to “two players per table”, and bets from standing players “will not be accepted,” according to the venue.
As of 12pm on Wednesday, Singapore had preliminarily confirmed 179 new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection, and two imported cases, taking the tally of active cases in the city-state to 1,025.
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