The good times keep on rolling at the Marina Bay Sands
The rapid growth of Asia’s gambling sector is fast making it the toast of the casino industry. Established casino destinations such as Macau have long since overhauled the likes of Las Vegas in terms of revenue. But it’s newer destinations such as Singapore that are really turning heads.
Record profit for the Sands
Nothing better epitomizes Singapore’s emergence as a major casino destination than the Marina Bay Sands. When the Las Vegas Sands corporation was granted permission to build a new mega-resort casino-hotel in Singapore, it took a no-expense-spared approach to the project.
The final bill for the Marina Bay Sands was reputed to be around $8 billion, making it the world’s most expensive stand-alone casino property. But although it only full opened in February 2011 (having partially opened in 2010), it’s already well on its way to repaying this hefty investment.
Operating profits for Q1 2012 were $472.5 million, up some 66% on the same period in 2011. According to Las Vegas Sands’ president Robert Goldstein, a significant proportion of this came from during the Chinese New Year period. Nevertheless, he was optimistic that this strong growth would continue throughout the rest of the year.
March of the international high rollers
Much of this increase turnover is attributed to an influx of foreign gamblers, especially high rollers. With a propensity to spend far more than the average gambler, high rollers are precisely the sorts of gamblers casinos are eager to welcome.
Now it seems high rollers from across the globe are falling for Singapore’s charms. During the course of a fortnight, casinos such as the Marina Bay Sands or Singapore’s other multi-billion dollar casino resort, the Resorts World Sentosa, may welcome as many as 150 of these elusive players.
This influx of tourists has benefitted other areas as well. Since 2008, Changi Airport has seen passenger traffic increase some 23 per cent, while tourist spending has doubled in that same timeframe.
And with Asia’s economic boom showing no signs of letting up, Singapore’s new casino sector can expect this success to continue for many years to come.