Singapore Government Ordered Closure of Casinos and Other Non-Essential Businesses

The current spread of the coronavirus throughout the world has already seriously impacted the casino industry. Singapore is the next country affected by the severe outbreak of the disease and the Government announced the implementation of strict mitigation measures that required the shutting down of all non-essential businesses, including casinos.

Social Distancing Effort

The two casino resorts in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, owned and operated by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, and Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Group, will have to remain closed starting April 7 until May 4 inclusive, to support the social distancing effort to contain the further spread of the virus, as announced by the Ministry of Health.

Marina Bay Sands announced on its website it would suspend all integrated resorts services, including casino, hotel, shops, food outlets and the ArtScience Museum. The operator would not accept new hotel reservations and the ones referring to the period of the closure would be refunded. The company would find another place of accommodation for the guests who have checked in prior to the closure for the period that extends beyond it.

Resorts World Sentosa also posted an update on its website, informing guests it would suspend most operations, including the casino and popular attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island. RWS would leave open for takeaway only selected restaurants and food and beverage outlets, Malaysian Food Street, Pizzeria, Osia Steak and Seafood Grill, and Feng Shui Inn, to meet the daily living needs of residents. Existing reservations beyond April 7 would be honoured, while the rest would be cancelled and refunded.

Genting Singapore, the operator of RWS that is also a strong contender to build an integrated resort in Japan, already introduced staff pay cuts for managerial and above levels, due to the massive disruption to international travel and tourism industries caused by the virus outbreak. The hospitality and casino operator company also issued a profit warning for the first half of 2020.

Singapore Firms Up Virus Measures

Until now, Singapore authorities had implemented travel restrictions for foreign visitors, banning all short-term visitors from entering or transiting the country. The current set of measures involved the closure of all workplaces except those running essential services, allowing restaurants to provide only takeaway and delivery services.

On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat posted in social media that the government would announce financial measures to support households and businesses in the country, in addition to the approved less than two weeks ago $33 billion economic stimulus package aimed at offsetting the virus impact.

The closure of casinos in Singapore mean that the only major gaming jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region remains Macau, as the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Russia, Australia and New Zealand had already shut down non-essential services, casinos included.

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