Singapore Surging

by , Feb 27, 2013 | 9:00 pm

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Singapore didn’t pass Las Vegas as the world’s No. 2 gaming market in 2012, and might not happen this year, said one gaming analyst.

The island nation’s two casinos produced $5.85 billion in gaming revenues in 2012, an 8 percent increase over 2011. The figure fell short of the $6.2 billion produced by the Strip’s more than 40 casinos.

Macau is the world’s largest casino market with $38 billion in gaming revenues in 2012.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. operates the Marina Bay Sands, which collected $2.94 billion in gaming revenues in 2012. Malaysia-based Genting, which owns Resorts World Sentosa Island, reported $2.91 billion in gaming revenues Friday, as part of the company’s fourth quarter earnings announcement.

After the Singapore casino market ramped up in 2010, many analysts predicted the region would surpass Las Vegas. Singapore officials legalized two casinos in 2006 as a way to boost tourism, but mandated gaming was to be just a small portion of the overall project.

Still, the revenues produced by the casinos took analysts by surprise. Business, however, slowed somewhat in the early part of 2012.

Union Gaming Group principal Grant Govertsen, who is based in Macau, said Singapore’s high-end “seems to be recovering” while mass market gamblers “continue to be muted.” Singapore requires local residents to pay an entry fee to visit the casino areas of the two resorts.

“With that in mind, we would expect Singapore gross gaming revenue to grow in the low or mid-single digit range in 2013,” Govertsen said. “As such, we would expect Las Vegas Strip gross gaming revenue in 2013 to remain ahead of Singapore.”

Govertsen said Genting has been focused on more mass market customers to Resorts World with the focus on Malaysia and Indonesia. However, there may not be many new customers to be found.

“The local Singaporean market essentially maxed out,” Govertsen said.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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