Bernstein: “Singapore GGR Set to Grow 12% Through Locals in 2021”
Reports indicate that the Singapore casino market will likely grow by 12% in gross gaming revenue from 2021. According to Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, this revenue is to be supported mainly by domestic demand due to the pandemic effects. Such growth would be a great increase from 2019 by almost 48%.
Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu, and others explicitly stated that there wouldn’t be any boost from foreign visitation for most of the year.
This trend may primarily affect “table-side” gaming, which is mainly foreign-dominated. Locally, demand is higher for electronic table games and slot machines. That could explain why the former would drive just under 30% of the yearly revenue.
Sanford Bernstein added that in the first quarter of 2021, local customers have driven the slot games business to pre-pandemic levels.
According to the report, the casino GGR for Singapore this year could stand at just SGD 3 billion, only SGD 1.06 billion coming from table gaming.
However, in the Bernstein investor conference held online, Robert Goldstein suggested that this local demand would greatly reduce too once people can easily travel outside Singapore. He is the chairman and Chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp, which controls the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore.
The industry could still take a huge hit now since casinos are currently operating at limited capacity due to increased Covid-19 cases in Singapore. For instance, at Marina Bay Sands, the live-dealer tables have placed a limit of only two players at once.
The institution further stressed the uncertainly in the industry, mainly around loosening travel restrictions. The border is expected to almost fully reopen in 2022, which would boost recovery to an extent. Full recovery is to be expected from 2023-2025, all factors constant.
In this case, we can expect the GGR to grow by 12% year on year in 2021 and up to 50% in 2022.
The uncertainty also stems from the impacts of the pandemic on other markets that the city benefits from for tourism, like Malaysia and Indonesia.
Amidst this stagnation, there is also a great expectation of bigger pre-pandemic growth given the opening of Phase 2 of developments at the 2 Integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
Nonetheless, the future doesn’t seem very grim for Singapore’s casino market, given the gradual resumption of international travel from 2021.
During the event, Bernstein also spoke positively concerning Genting Singapore's bid for the Yokohama casino license, pointing out how its Singapore operations would play well in their favor.