Singapore Looks to September to Open Casinos to Travelers
Officials in Singapore look to reopen casinos to travelers by September.
Across the world, individual countries continue to be closed to outside travelers due to the risk of COVID-19. In regions where casinos rely on travelers to generate revenues, these shutdowns have led to little earnings. Singapore is one area that has been closed off to the world to try and stop any COVID-19 outbreaks. The Marina Bay Sands and the Resorts World Sentosa are both located there and without visitors, are unable to bring in the revenues needed to succeed. Thankfully, Singapore will be ready to welcome visitors in September. It will be interesting to see if travelers are ready to visit or if the virus is still a concern and keeps people from traveling.
Right now, entry into Singapore is only available to permanent residents or citizens of the country. Select tourists are allowed to enter as well, if they are from Taiwan, Vietnam, mainland China, New Zealand, or Brunei. Singapore has allowed people to come in if they are from areas where the virus is basically non-existent.
Those who do travel to the country need to present a negative test for the virus and follow 14-day quarantine requirements. Now, Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced details involving the reopening plan for the region. The goal is to allow more international travelers to come in by the fall.
The Minister said that travel corridors will be established with regions or countries that have been able to manage the virus well. When the infection is under control, officials feel more at ease letting people come in.
Casinos Greatly Affected
The gambling venues in Singapore have struggled greatly due to the coronavirus. The Marina Bay Sands is considered one of the best integrated resort casinos in the world and has been the most profitable one in the world since it opened more than a decade ago.
However, the casino relies on foreign travelers to stay in business. The property has three towers and amazing features, such as the casino and the infinity pool. The casino has a huge gaming floor, with 160,000 square feet of space and there are over 2,500 hotel rooms located onsite.
Unfortunately, the hotel rooms have remained vacant since the pandemic began. As long as travelers are not welcome in Singapore, the casino will be unable to start the recovery process and begin to recoup losses.
Before the pandemic began, the Sands and Resorts World Sentosa decided to invest over $3 billion each into their integrated resorts. The money was to be spent as an exchange for the operators to be the only one’s offering gambling services in Singapore through 2031.
The Sands has plans to create a fourth tower. This will provide more space onsite and will reportedly take place even though the operator has been financially affected by the pandemic. In early July, Rob Goldstein, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, stated the company is still committed to expanding the property.
Goldstein said that COVID did throw a wrench in their plans but investing in Singapore operations is still a smart decision.
In an effort to see the fall plan come to fruition, Singapore officials are asking citizens to be vaccinated. Restrictions will be relaxed first for those who have taken the vaccine. Anyone wanting to attend an event or outing with more than 100 people, they must be vaccinated. This also applies to people who want to go to a restaurant or other facility like a gym.
It will be interesting to see if Singapore will be able to allow international travel to its casinos in the future. The virus seems to be spreading, especially the delta variant. If it continues to spread on a global scale, we may see Singapore keep travel blocks in place and other areas may decide to do the same.