Singapore is one of the prime destinations in Asia, beginning with its prestigious Changi Airport, Universal Studios Singapore, the Night Safari and the opulent Marina Bay Sands Resort/Hotel complex. Marina Bay is just one of several integrated resorts in Singapore that incorporate hotel accommodations, malls, entertainment centers and casinos. If you’re a first-time visitor to these attractions or returning for more, there are some changes you should know that were made since 2019, so you would at least know what to expect from Singapore’s Integrated Resorts today and onto 2021.
There won’t be any new casinos in Singapore apart from Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) until 2030, thanks to a large 9 billion-dollar investment the two Integrated Resorts committed for expansion which prompted the Singapore government to extend their exclusive casino license rights. The investments are tied to expansions such as the addition of a fourth tower to the Marina Bay Sands Resort and additional attractions to Universal Studios Singapore.
Aside from the fourth tower, the expansions will result an additional of 2000 sq. m of casino area for Marina Bay and 500 sq. m for Resorts World Sentosa. Non-gaming visitors would have to cope with a decrease in non-gaming areas. With additional gaming areas, there would also be an increase on entry levies. Singapore permanent residents and citizens would have to be charged with additional fifty percent to existing entry levies which began August 2019. For those unfamiliar, Singapore highly regulates vices for its citizens. This should not be much of a concern for international tourists but could result in a decrease in local customers.
Another result of the expansions are increased casino tax rates to be imposed by the government as part of the exclusivity agreement for the two IRs. The tax rates which will be imposed starting 2022 using a tiered approach. An additional 8% tax will be charged by the government in the first 2.4 billion gross gaming revenue and 18 percent when the revenue reaches 3.1 billion.
One exciting development for Singapore tourists in 2021 is the highly anticipated February opening of Super Nintendo World Singapore at Universal Studios and the later addition of Despicable Me-themed Minion Park which will be replacing the Madagascar Park. The Super Nintendo World will be mostly Super Mario-themed, packed with Mario iconography which will be a hit for Nintendo fans and gaming fans in general.
Tourism is expected to benefit from the planned expansion of Marina Bay Sands thanks to an additional 1000 rooms and 15,000 seat arena from the planned fourth tower. Upon completion, these expansion projects are expected to draw an additional 500,000 visitors annually, a 500 million-dollar addition to Singapore’s annual GDP. However, Marina Bay Sands Tower 4 won’t be realized by 2021, which has been further delayed due to the current worldwide pandemic. These expansions however are expected to add up to 5000 new jobs upon completion as well as indirectly add thousands of jobs to the construction market once the projects get started.
Overall, tourism is expected to increase in Singapore by 2021 thanks to these planned expansions and the expected improvement of the global pandemic situation.