Chinese Tourists Return To Singapore But Will Have Little Impact on 2023 GGR

Chinese Tourists Return To Singapore But Will Have Little Impact on 2023 GGR February 1, 2023 February 1, 2023 David Walker
 Industry February 1, 2023 by David Walker

Singapore celebrating Chinese new yearSummary

  • Chinese tourists are slowly returning to Singapore but they won’t have a huge impact on GGR
  • Their gaming spending is expected to be low this year due to several factors
  • Chinese GGR contribution is unlikely to return to 2019 levels until 2024

The return of Chinese visitors to Singapore will not have that much impact on the revenue of the two integrated resorts currently operating in the country. That’s according to a recent report released by Maybank Investment Bank Bhd.

GGR Contributions from Chinese Tourists Unlikely to Recover Until 2024

Analysts at the investment company said that while tourists from mainland China will contribute positively to the earnings of Singapore’s casino duopoly in 2023, their contribution to gross gaming revenue (GGR) is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Singapore’s casino market is controlled by the Marina Bay Sands-Resorts World Sentosa duopoly, with a significant portion of their revenue coming from mainland Chinese visitors. The pandemic caused a massive drop in tourist numbers which heavily impacted the operations of the two casinos.

With COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, visitors from mainland China are starting to travel to Singapore again, but their gaming spending on slots or at roulette tables is expected to be much lower than before the pandemic due to several factors.


Maybank analyst Samuel Yin Shao Yang said one of the reasons is the slump in China’s property market which has traditionally been a source of liquidity for Chinese gamblers. The country’s economic growth has also been disrupted due to extended pandemic-related protocols.

Another factor is the high cost of accommodation in Singapore which directly affects the gaming budgets of Chinese visitors, Yang added.

Chinese Tourist Numbers Expected to be Low in 2023

The volume of Chinese tourists travelling to Singapore this year is also expected to be low, based on a January survey conducted by China-based marketing solutions firm Dragon Tail International.

According to its “Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report”, Singapore is the seventh most popular destination for Chinese travelers in 2023. Just 4.2% of those who intend to travel outside the country this year plan to visit Singapore, majority of them would be first-time visitors.

Still, Singapore is projected to see an increase in international visitor arrivals in 2023, with the numbers expected to reach between 12 million and 14 million, twice the volume recorded in 2022, based on figures released by the Singapore Tourism Board in January.

In 2019, Chinese visitors contributed an estimated SGD1.5 billion (US$832.0 million) to Singapore’s gaming industry, equivalent to approximately 25% of GGR, Given the present circumstances, full recovery isn’t expected until 2024.

David WalkerAuthor

David is our resident 'down under' contributor, letting us know what is going on in the southern hemisphere, he is also keen blackjack player