Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) told GGRAsia in a Wednesday email that it did “not have new updates to share” regarding how much longer Singapore’s two casino resorts would be shuttered as a countermeasure to Covid-19.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd had said in a Tuesday note that “Singapore casino closure has been extended to at least July 1”. It did not specify a source for that assertion.
Singapore’s two casino complexes have been shut since April 7 as the Singapore government stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. Marina Bay Sands is operated by a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp, and Resorts World Sentosa (pictured in a file photo) is run by Genting Singapore Ltd.
In its Tuesday note, Sanford Bernstein suggested that even when Singapore’s casino duopoly did resume business, gross gaming revenue (GGR) was likely to have a “slow recovery”, getting back to 2019 levels “only in 2023″ due to factors including the need for so-called social-distancing measures on casino floors.
On Tuesday, Singapore confirmed 218 new cases of Covid-19 infection, with 212 of them being among migrant workers in dormitory accommodation. As of that day at 12pm, the city-state had 12,612 active cases, of which 245 involved hospital patients in a stable condition, and three involved hospital patients in a critical condition. According to the Ministry of Health, Singapore has had 25 deaths from Covid-19, with a further 25,877 cases recorded as “discharged”.
In an earlier exchange with GGRAsia, that had confirmed the city’s casinos would stay shut beyond June 1, the Casino Regulatory Authority had affirmed such venues were “not considered essential services” in the context of the “circuit breaker” system. The latter term is used to refer to Singapore’s containment efforts on the coronavirus pandemic.
The first phase of exit from the circuit breaker was scheduled from June 2, according to an earlier government press release. “Most” manufacturing and production facilities; and most businesses with employees working in offices and settings that “do not require interactions with large groups of people” were being allowed to restart.
In a press release most recently updated on May 28, the Singapore government had said that in phase two of exit from the control measures “almost the entire economy will reopen, subject to safe management measures being in place”. Those included limits on numbers of people allowed to gather, and the continued use of masks when going outside the home.
The release had cited Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai, Singapore’s Minister for National Development and co-chair of the city-state’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce on Covid-19, as saying phase two “could happen before the end of June”.
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”Despite the re-opening of the integrated resort [Okada Manila], we believe there are significant risks to the segment’s recovery in view of travel restrictions, potential new outbreaks and further lockdowns that could weigh on earnings and cash flows”