Multibillion-dollar upgrade of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands IR deferred for one more year

Multibillion-dollar upgrade of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands IR deferred for one more year

American casino developer and operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation has announced that that planned multibillion-dollar upgrade of its Marina Bay Sands integrated resort (IR) in Singapore has been put on hold for one more year.

The plan to upgrade the Marina Bay Sands in the Southeast Asian country was first announced in 2019, but it was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday this week, the operator revealed that it received a yet another extension from the Singapore Tourism Board.

The latest extension from the Singapore Tourism Board provides the casino operator one more year to perform the multibillion-dollar upgrade of the Singaporean property. It has time until April 2024 to start the project. Previously it was scheduled for April this year.

Over the last three years, Las Vegas Sands and Singapore Tourism Board have struggled as the American casino operator repeatedly sought to defer the start of the planned upgrading of the property. Last year, the two sides struck a deal that would have forced the operator to start next month. But that is obviously not going to happen.

Initially in 2019, Sands Las Vegas had announced plans to spend more than $3.3 billion on upgrading the Marina Bay Sands in return for an extension of its duopolistic casino gaming rights through the end of current decade (Dec. 31, 2030). But, the Singapore Tourism Board initially allowed the company to complete the upgrades by 2027. However, the company asked for and received more time in wake of the pandemic.

If the project to upgrade the Marina Bay Sands IR starts in April next year, it should be finished by April 2028.

The upgrades include a fourth hotel tower, new entertainment and spaces for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), in addition to a number of other amenities. In return, the operator has been authorized to add a larger casino space equipped with 1,000 new gaming machines to the property.

Marina Bay Sands integrated is already one of the most popular IRs in Singapore. At the end of December 2022, the Paradise, Nevada-headquartered Las Vegas Sands reported a significant improvement in net revenue at its Singaporean property for the year’s final quarter. With a jump of almost 50 per cent year-over-year, the IR’s revenue settled at $682 million, while its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation & amortization) increased 54.2 per cent year-over-year to $273 million.

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