The Singapore casino market during 2021 is likely to grow by 12 percent year-on-year in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR), supported mostly by domestic demand, says a Wednesday report from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. The institution noted such performance if realised, would be 48 percent of 2019 GGR levels.
“There is unlikely any significant increase in foreign visitation into Singapore for most – or even all – of the year,” stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu.
Their report suggested 2021 GGR for Singapore’s casino duopoly could be just under SGD3.0 billion (US$2.27 billion), with slightly more than SGD1.42 billion of that coming from slot machines, just over SGD1.06 billion from mass-market table GGR, and SGD514 million from VIP table games.
Last week, Robert Goldstein, chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp, controller of the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore, said in commentary during a Sanford Bernstein investor conference held online, that the recent “outsize” local demand for gaming would “dissipate” once people could travel more easily outside Singapore.
The executive added that the “table side” in Singapore was more driven by “foreign play”, implying local demand was mainly for slot machines and electronic table games.
Sanford Bernstein added in its Wednesday report: “In the first quarter, the slot business in Marina Bay Sands has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, driven only by local customers.”
But the brokerage also noted that due to “resurgence” of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, the casinos were currently operating at “limited capacity until at least 13 June”.
Marina Bay Sands has stated that for now, live-dealer tables are limited to serving a maximum of two players at once.
Sanford Bernstein said on Wednesday, referring to current restrictions in Singapore on inbound foreign tourism: “We expect the border to largely reopen during 2022 and expect a further 50 percent rebound” in GGR in 2022; “recovering to approximately 73 percent of 2019 GGR.”
The institution said there was still “uncertainty” around travel restriction loosening in Singapore, and the “economic impact” from Covid-19 on Singapore tourism feeder markets, “in particular”, neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Sanford Bernstein analysts added: “We expect mass GGR and non-gaming to be back to normal in 2023.”
In commentary on Genting Singapore Ltd, the promoter of the Resorts World Sentosa casino resort (pictured in a file photo) in Singapore, Sanford Bernstein gave its assessment on the firm’s prospects of gaining a Yokohama, Japan casino licence, where it faces competition from Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
Genting Singapore’s advantage “lay largely with their operating in a highly-regulated Singapore market, which may be the benchmark for a Japan regulatory regime; especially as it pertains to locals and junket regulation,” suggested the brokerage.
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Aggregate number of licensed junkets in Macau as of January 2022