The two casinos are expected to contribute about US$1.5 billion to the local economy this year

Six months after opening its first casino in February, followed by its second in April, Singapore welcomed more than 1 million visitors in July, the first month visitation to the city-state crossed the million mark.

“The development of multibillion-dollar integrated resorts in Singapore is clearly paying off for the country, and they will continue to do so for at least the next decade,” said Jonathan Galaviz, managing director of gaming and resort consultants Galaviz & Company.

Singapore officials hope to see between 11.5 million and 12.5 million visitors this year.

Regional banking giant DBS Group said the casinos - owned by U.S.-based Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia’s Genting Group - are expected to contribute about US$1.5 billion to the economy this year.

Genting’s $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa opened in February with Southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park, among other attractions. LVS’ $5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands started operations in April with attractions including a “sky park” perched atop three 55-story hotel towers.

Resorts World Sentosa said it generated revenues of $636.5 million in the three months to June. Marina Bay Sands declared net revenues of $216 million in its first 65 days of operation.

Galaviz said Singapore’s total gross gaming revenue should reach US$2.7 billion this year, rising to $3 billion in 2011 and topping out there.

Investment banking firm CLSA is more upbeat. Aaron Fischer, head of Asia consumer gaming at CLSA, estimates Singapore gaming revenues will rise to $5.1 billion in 2011 and $6.5 billion in 2012.

Macau, the world’s largest casino market, took in $14.5 billion from gamblers in 2009. The Las Vegas Strip, at No. 2, generated $5.5 billion.