Resorts World Sentosa Feeling China Crackdown Impact
The Resorts World Sentosa Casino in Singapore is feeling the impact of a crackdown of cross-border gambling in China, as high rollers basically non-existent at the facility.
Things are changing considerably in the gambling world when it comes to players from China. Law enforcement agencies in the country have been directed by President Xi Jinping to put regulations in place to prevent mainland residents from traveling overseas to gamble at casinos. The country is threatening anyone who markets or organizes trips for gambling internationally with up to 10 years in prison. Because of this, venues like Resorts World Sentosa pay the price. The Singapore casino feels that Chinese high rollers are now a thing of the past for the facility due to this crackdown.
Keep the Money in China
The goal of President Xi is to keep the money in China. He does not want to see more money flowing outside of the country’s control. Genting Singapore is the owner and operator of the Resorts World Sentosa venue, a facility that feels it will see less VIP players because of the travel changes.
Genting Singapore recently provided the results of its 2020 financial reports. At the same time, the company issues guidance, telling gaming analysts that it will be impacted financially due to the regulation changes in China.
Charging Players and Offering Deals
It has been estimated that as much as $150 billion leaves China each year due to international gambling trips by citizens. Already, the country has reported that 35,000 individuals have been charged in relation to cross-border gambling.
In China, gambling is illegal except for the lottery, which is state-run. The wealthiest gamblers in China travel to Macau to wager at luxury casinos but also to other areas throughout Asia, including Resorts World Sentosa.
The casino was operating at a 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions and was allowed to increase to 65% capacity in late December. However, the casino does not expect its gross gaming revenue totals to increase because of the lack of foreign gamblers traveling to the property.
The operator also says that it does not think the VIP market will recover back to pre-coronavirus levels because China is cracking down on individuals and groups that are marketing players from the mainland to gamble at overseas locations.
China is hoping that citizens will help in the crackdown as well. The country is providing citizens who have taken part with gambling immunity if they turn in people who are providing cross-border gambling services.
COVID-19 and Lack of VIPs Create Huge Financial Blow
In its recent 2020 report, Genting Singapore recorded its worst financials since it opened ten years ago. Net profits were cut dramatically due to the pandemic along with shareholder earnings. Gross gaming revenues decreased by 57%.
The government of Singapore closed the borders of the country for the majority of 2020 to try and keep the virus out. Because of its action, the region saw less than 60,000 cases of COVID-19 and only 29 people died.
Genting Singapore reported that the pandemic has been devastating to its business dealings, even after help from the government and the implementation of cost containment measures by the company.
Overall, several areas are expected to be affected in a negative manner by the COVID-19 pandemic. China has yet to make clear exactly how it plans to tackle its cross-border gambling effort, or which exact areas are targeted.
It seems that the threat alone plus the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is doing the work for them. Junket operators and other types of marketing groups are not focusing on mainland China players as they have in the past due to the fear of prosecution by the country. All eyes are on the country now to see how far they will extend this cross-border gambling crackdown effort.