The operators of Singapore’s two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, are already feeling the pinch from a recent increase in the city’s casino entry levy, but there is more pain to come according to Maybank Investment Bank.
In a research note published shortly after Las Vegas Sands released its 3Q19 earnings results on Thursday, Maybank analyst Samuel Yin Shao Yang pointed to April’s 50% hike in casino entry levies as having impacted mass gaming revenues at Marina Bay Sands in the recent quarter, with mass GGR down 4.5% year-on-year to US$255.6 million.
More importantly, though, he said the impact of the increase in cost of an annual pass from SG$2,000 to SG$3,000 is yet to be fully realized.
“We gather that the 50% hike in casino entry levy for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents (SCPR) … continues to weigh on mass market GGR,” Yin said.
“As more SCPRs’ SG$2,000 annual passes expire, those SCPRs will have to pay a much higher SG$3,000 if they wish to renew their annual passes. With such a steep hike, we gather that some SCPRs will not renew their annual passes when they expire, exerting downside pressure on mass market GGR.”
Marina Bay Sands booked a 4.2% increase in GGR in 3Q19 to US$698.3 million, aided by improved VIP volume and win rate.