Marina Bay Sands opens strong
Las Vegas Sands says its new Singapore megaresort is on a pace to exceed analysts’ cash-flow projections this year.
About 550,000 people visited Marina Bay Sands in the first 25 days of May, COO Michael Leven said in an interview with Bloomberg. He added that the casino is winning “slightly more” on mass-market gambling than on VIP play since opening April 27. “If we continue at this rate, with no improvement for the rest of the year in the casino win, and just add the improvement in the hotel, we’ll exceed the analysts’ expectations” for cash flow, Leven said. He didn’t give a figure.
What this means is the mammoth $5.5 billion resort will generate $329 million in EBITDA this year, based on the average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
About one-third of Marina Bay’s visitors have been Singaporeans, who are required by law to pay S$100 ($70.90) to enter. The rest have been either foreigners living in the city-state or visitors from countries including neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia, Leven said.
In February, Genting Singapore, a division of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd., opened the country’s only other casino, Resorts World, on Sentosa Island. Genting owns and runs Malaysia’s only casino, and buses in thousands of gamblers from the neighboring nation.
“Genting has proven to be a very formidable casino competitor,” Leven said. “They know the market better than we knew the market on the mass-play side, because they operate in Malaysia and our operations in Macau are very different.”
Las Vegas Sands is “somewhat disappointed” with the win rate for its Singapore slot machines, even though the daily average is higher than at its Las Vegas and Macau, China, sites, Leven said. The company has ordered popular electronic rapid roulette and mini-baccarat games to compete with Genting, he said.
Since opening, Marina Bay has adjusted some incentives and lowered some food and parking prices to “be more appealing to the mass market,” he said.
Singapore aims to lure 17 million visitors and reach annual tourism revenue of S$30 billion by 2015, helped by the two casino resorts.