Singapore’s revenues from ‘sightseeing, entertainment and gaming’ rose 12 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014, to just over SGD1.47 billion (US$1.15 billion) according to data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
During the same period, overall tourism receipts actually fell 3 percent year-on-year, to SGD5.6 billion, mainly from a decline in shopping.
International visitor arrivals fell 6 percent year-on-year to 3.6 million people, partly on the back of a steep decline in visitors from mainland China.
Most of the aggregate number for revenues from ‘sightseeing, entertainment and gaming’ – nearly 97 percent of it – came from casino gaming according to GGRAsia’s calculations based on publicly available data.
Genting Singapore Plc, operator of the Resorts World Sentosa casino resort reported gaming revenue for the second quarter of SGD596.86 million (up 9 percent year-on-year).
Las Vegas Sands Corp, operator of the rival Marina Bay Sands resort (which states its accounts in U.S. dollars) reported the equivalent in the second quarter – at current exchange rates – of SGD824.24 million (US$646.40 million) – a rise of 9.5 percent year-on-year.
Those two gaming revenue numbers combined make SGD1.42 billion, suggesting only SGD50 million came to Singapore in the second quarter from the ‘sightseeing and entertainment’ portions of that spending category.
‘Sightseeing, entertainment and gaming’ is defined by STB as including “entrance fees to attraction [sic] and nightspots, expenditure on day tours, leisure events and entertainment at the Integrated Resorts”, the latter referring to the casino resorts.
Nonetheless the category only made up 26 percent of Singapore’s total tourism receipts according to STB data.
In the same quarter, the number of mainland Chinese tourists – a social group generally acknowledged as containing some of the world’s most enthusiastic casino gamblers – actually fell 47 percent year-on-year, and nearly 44 percent judged quarter-on-quarter.
There were only 314,000 arrivals from mainland China in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 593,000 from the country in the second quarter of 2013. There were 557,000 arrivals from mainland China in the first three months of 2014.
In that January to March period however, Singapore still saw a 14 percent fall year-on-year in visitors from the People’s Republic of China. But the nation remains the city-state’s second biggest market for inbound tourists after Indonesia.
The value to the Singapore economy of those Chinese tourists that are still coming appears to be improving.
The number of Chinese visitors that stayed for at least two days jumped by 21 percent year-on-year. For the first time they outnumbered those who spent one day or fewer than 24 hours in Singapore, said STB.
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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