Singapore Govt Agrees To Extend Marina Bay Sands Expansion Plans To 2023
- Extension works at the casino resort have been pushed back until 2023
- The expansion is part of a SGD4.5 billion deal signed with the Singapore government
- Delayed timeline due to COVID-19 problems
Construction plans for the Marina Bay Sands extension project will be delayed by one year with the new deadline pushed back to April 2023 after its parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) agreed with the Singapore government to postpone the development.
Under the original deal, which was signed by LVS and the Singapore Tourism Board in April 2019, expansion works for the resort would have started this year, with the construction expected to be completed within eight years.
Construction Works Delayed Due to COVID-19
The SGD4.5 billion ($3.31 billion) development includes a new luxury hotel tower which will house approximately 1,000 rooms as well as a restaurant, food/beverage area, and a sky roof. The expansion will also see an extra convention space being built, alongside a 15,000-seat arena.
Singapore’s casino market is currently dominated by two companies – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa which is owned and operated by Genting Singapore Ltd. Both will continue to enjoy a casino duopoly in the country until 2030. Genting Singapore also obtained approval from the government to develop additional facilities for Resorts World as part of an SGD4.5 billion expansion.
However in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of casinos worldwide, with the construction industry also heavily impacted. As a result, expansion works for both the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World will inevitably face delays, as per an earlier statement from a Singapore Tourism Board official.
In January, LVS confirmed that a US$1 billion renovation of the hotel rooms at Marina Bay Sands had already commenced. The project was aimed at enhancing the property’s appeal to premium customers, according to the company’s chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein during their fourth-quarter earnings call. The company had clarified though that such development was independent of the 2019 expansion deal it signed with the Tourism Board.
In the same announcement, LVS also stated that the SGD4.5 billion expansion of Marina Bay Sands could be completed by 2026, a year later than the previous timeline it provided.
More Visitors Expected as Restrictions Eased
Marina Bay is expected to enjoy a surge in visitations this year as the government has decided to significantly ease its travel restrictions. The easing of restrictions took effect on March 29, covering cross-border travels.
Since April 1, fully-vaccinated travelers have been allowed to enter Singapore as COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the country.
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