The Singapore casino market could face another “quiet” Chinese New Year due to the suspension of the city-state’s vaccinated travel lane programme in response to the highly-infectious Omicron variant of Covid-19, says a Monday note from Maybank Investment Bank Bhd. This time the lunar new year falls on February 1.
The institution covers Genting Singapore Ltd, promoter of Resorts World Sentosa, one half of Singapore’s casino duopoly. The city-state’s other casino resort, Marina Bay Sands, is run by a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Analyst Samuel Yin Shao Yang stated, referring to Singapore’s recent calibrated effort at travel normalisation: “Unfortunately, the land vaccinated travel lane” between Malaysia and Singapore “was suspended on 23 December 2021”.
He added that with “no guarantee” the land-based vaccinated travel lane will resume, “we fear that not many Malaysians will gamble at the Singaporean integrated resorts during the peak Chinese New Year period.”
The bank estimated that in pre-pandemic trading, Malaysians contributed 20 percent to 30 percent of Resorts World Sentosa’s VIP volume and 30 percent to 40 percent of its mass-market gross gaming revenue (GGR); a time when “circa 250,000 Malaysians entered Singapore by land daily”.
Mr Yin said Maybank was cutting its estimate for Genting Singapore’s 2022 earnings “by 72 percent, as we now do not expect GGR to recover materially this year”.
He added: “Essentially, we expect Genting Singapore’s earnings to remain uninspiring for another year making it three years of pedestrian earnings.”
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