Doubts about the depth of the Singapore market are slowly ebbing away as it becomes apparent that the first few weeks following the opening of Resorts World Sentosa have been an unqualified success. The Genting property opened on February 14 and it has been busy ever since.
Union Gaming Group last month reported that it believed RWS was winning between $7 million and $8 million a day, with EBITDA margins between 40 percent and 50 percent. Even more encouraging, according to Union, is that the revenues are split evenly between the mass market and the VIP market, which is a much more difficult business than it is in Macau, although the tax rate is much lower, at 5 percent vs. almost 40 percent. The mass-market revenues in Singapore are taxed at a 15 percent rate.
“To say these numbers are encouraging is a monumental understatement,” wrote Union Gaming’s Bill Lerner in a note to investors, “especially without the influence of junket operators. Two offsetting variables will be interesting: 1) RWS has yet to ramp up, as it has only been open since mid-February, and 2) Marina Bay Sands hasn’t opened, which could suggest such numbers for RWS are not sustainable. If RWS was able to sustain these play and margin levels, when taking into account the contribution of non-gaming revenues, we estimate total revenues would exceed $3.2 billion with EBITDA of $1.4 billion-well beyond consensus expectations.”
Gamblers’ blogs tell of queues, crowds, over-the-shoulder betting and round-the-clock action at the casino of Resorts World Sentosa.