A pandemic-related slowdown in the construction industry has affected the planned expansion of Singapore casinos
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Singapore Tourism Board Chief Executive Keith Tan has said that delays in the expansion of Integrated Resorts are “inevitable”, mainly due to the troubles in the construction industry brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing a report by GGR Asia, Tan said “There will be inevitable delays because of the circuit breaker we have experienced earlier, and there is an overall slowdown in construction activity because of difficulties being faced by the construction sector and the challenges they are facing with their workers and their workforce.”
The planned investment for Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Genting Singapore are at around SGD$4.5 billion (US$3.3 billion) for each to expand their property. The announcement was made in April of last year, just about the same time the Singapore government announced the extension of the two IRs until 2030.
Tan noted that “Both Genting Singapore and Marina Bay Sands have not indicated any slippage of their investment commitments here in Singapore.”
And that “I see that as a good sign of their faith and confidence in the longer-term tourism prospects of Singapore.”
To boost Singapore’s tourism, Tan said that the country is focusing on attracting a wider range of visitors for business and leisure, and acknowledges that group travel may not be as feasible at this time. Earlier last month, it was reported that RWS and MBS were to resume operations after approval of their safe reopening protocols.
However, RWS, one of the two IRs in the country announced in mid-July that they will be laying off employees as a cost-cutting measure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Being one of the largest private sector employers in Singapore, RWS employs around 7,000 regular employees.