Sheldon Adelson’s Marina Bay Sands Casino has been approved to operate in the city-state for an additional three years.
Last week, the city state’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) announced that the casino license of Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd., a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp., had been renewed. The subsidiary operates the integrated resort in Singapore. The casino regulator first assessed the Marina Bay Sands to ensure it was conforming to its rules, after which time the renewal was approved and went into effect on April 26. In a statement, the regulator said that it also took into consideration the “independent opinion of an evaluation panel,” according to local sources.
In February, the casino license of Resorts World Sentosa was also renewed by the state regulator for another three years.
Genting Singapore, which operates Resorts World Sentosa, and Las Vegas Sands was issued a casino license in 2007 by the Singaporean government to operate one integrated resort each in the city-state. And while next year the exclusivity period for those licenses is set to expire, analysts at Fitch Ratings are of the opinion that the government is “unlikely” to grant new licenses after 2017 due to “potentially higher frequency of problem gaming with the local population, and the muted outlook for the inbound tourism in Singapore,” according to CalvinAyre.
Marina Bay Sands reported gaming revenue was off 28.3 percent and that overall revenue was down 23 percent. A 1.43 percent VIP win rate was reported by the property’s VIP tables. The rate is less than half what was recorded, 3.41 percent, for the same period in 2015.
In related news, Genting Singapore Plc, part of the Malaysian-based Genting Group, recently announced that it had decided to part with its Macau subsidiary. In a filing with the Singapore Stock Exchange the company said it had decided to close its Genting Star (Macau) Ltd office, which it acquired September last year. In addition to other units of the Genting Group, it was originally planned that Genting Star would have a hand in the development of a casino hotel located across from the old Casino Lisboa in Macau.
However, due to concerns raised by the casino regulators in Singapore, who wanted “clarification” from the Genting Group regarding deals in Macau and its connection with Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings Ltd., the Genting units pulled out of the project. Genting Singapore said in a statement this week that the dissolution of Genting Star (Macau) “is not expected to have any material impact” on its earnings per share and net tangible assets for the financial year ending December 31, 2016.