The Singapore Tourism Board has reached an agreement with Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Genting Singapore that will allow the them to significantly expand their respective integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
The news will come as a huge boost to both companies, whose growth has been stunted in recent times due to a lack of expansion opportunities, according to analysts.
In an announcement, LVS revealed that its local subsidiary, Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd, would invest around SG$4.5 billion (US$3.3 billion) into the new development which will include a hotel tower with a “rooftop attraction” including a sky pool and signature restaurant, MICE facilities comprising meeting rooms, function rooms and exhibition halls plus a state-of-the-art live entertainment arena with a seating capacity of at least 15,000 people. The agreement includes leasing of land for the project until 21 August 2066.
MBS will also be granted approval for an additional 1,000 gaming machines, taking its total to 3,500, as well as approval for conversion of the entire 55th floor of Hotel Tower 1 into more casino floor space and a provision to purchase another 2,000 square meters of casino gaming area if required.
In return, the company must pay the Singapore government SG$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) by 10 April 2019 with a deadline for completion of development of 2 April 2027.
Genting Singapore has announced an identical SG$4.5 billion investment of RWS, which it aims to complete by 2024. The RWS development will see the property’s gross floor area expand by 50%, adding 164,000 square meters of leisure and entertainment space.
Among the planned additions are expansion of Universal Studios Singapore, including new themed areas “Minion Park” and “Super Nintendo World”, of S.E.A. Aquarium which will be re-branded “Singapore Oceanarium”, the addition of another 1,100 hotel rooms as part of a new “waterfront lifestyle complex”, an enhanced waterfront promenade with restaurants and retail, expanded MICE facilities and development of a driverless transport system around the property.
For its part, the Singapore Tourism Board has agreed not to increase the rate of casino tax above specified tiered rates until at least 2032. It has also agreed not to increase the entry levy for locals beyond SG$150 per 24-hour period or SG$3,000 per 12-month period. Notably though, these levy limits represent 50% increases on the current levies of SG$100 for 24 hours or SG$2,000 for 12 months.
Addressing the new agreement, LVS President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldstein said, “New luxury hotel accommodations and a world-class entertainment venue are exactly the catalysts we need to drive additional visitation to Singapore, and specifically to Marina Bay Sands.
“The expansion of our Singapore IR is a key component of our company’s strategic growth plan and also reflects the strong tourism and business potential in Singapore. The additional hotel rooms are extremely important to us in addressing the demand created by our leisure and business tourists and our premium gaming customers.”