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Singapore’s gaming market poised for continued growth: Morgan Stanley

The Singapore gaming market has emerged as a shining star in Asia’s post-pandemic recovery, outpacing the once-dominant Macau in key performance metrics, according to Praveen Choudhary, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited.

Speaking during a talk at this year’s G2E Asia conference held in Macau and focused on the ‘Outlook of Asian Gaming Markets’, Choudhary pointed out that Singapore’s mass and slots revenue has seen a remarkable resurgence, growing from 111 percent of pre-COVID levels in the first quarter of last year to 135 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The city-state’s two gaming operators – Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore – generated some $4.5 billion in 2019 according to data provided by Praveen, a number that surged to some $5.3 billion in 2023 and which Morgan Stanley estimates will reach $6.9 billion by 2024.

In contrast, Macau’s (according to MS data) mass and slots gaming revenue have only rebounded to the 60-113 percent range, trailing Singapore’s impressive performance.

“Because Singapore opened a year ago from COVID, and in the first quarter were already at 111 percent, then 2023 in the last quarter, the chances that they’re going to go towards more than 135 percent is high,” the analyst added.

The driving force behind Singapore’s gaming market success is a combination of favorable economic factors. “Singapore has two things going on for them,” Choudhary explained. “One is inflation, and the second one is its wealth. There’s a lot of money flowing there. It’s at the center of Asia right now, and I don’t think that’s going to change in the near term.”

Additionally, the wealth migration from Hong Kong to Singapore has provided a structural benefit to the city-state’s gaming industry. “A lot of mainland people used to keep their money in Hong Kong. Some of that money is going to Singapore. So it’s a structural benefit that Singapore has,” Choudhary noted.

Choudhary also highlighted the shift in the VIP gambling landscape, with Singapore’s share of the VIP market growing as Macau’s junket-driven VIP business has declined. “Singapore is a big percentage, but it’s much bigger than it used to be. So you look at 8 percent and now it’s 31 percent. That’s because Singapore never uses junkets or they can’t,” he said.

While the overall gaming revenue recovery has been uneven across different markets, Singapore has emerged as a standout performer, with visitor arrivals and hotel occupancy rates approaching or even exceeding pre-COVID levels.

“The visitors are closer to pre-COVID levels. But the Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) number is very high. If you’re going to Marina Bay Sands, currently, I think the average rate is $600 to $700,” Choudhary revealed.

Marina Bay Sands

As the gaming industry in Asia continues to evolve, Singapore’s ability to capitalize on its wealth, geographic advantages, and regulatory environment has positioned it as a formidable competitor to the once-dominant Macau market.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Mourahttp://agbrief.com
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.

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