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Singapore integrated resorts expansion land costs: S$1.3b for MBS, S$1b for RWS

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For the upcoming expansion plans of Singapore's two integrated resorts (IRs), the 3.3 hectare site for Marina Bay Sands'(above) expansion has a cost of S$1.3 billion, while Resorts World Sentosa has set aside a budget of S$1 billion to intensify the use of its existing land and to buy around one hectare of new land

FOR the upcoming expansion plans of Singapore's two integrated resorts (IRs), the 3.3 hectare site for Marina Bay Sands' expansion has a cost of S$1.3 billion, while Resorts World Sentosa has set aside a budget of S$1 billion to intensify the use of its existing land and to buy around one hectare of new land, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat.

"The IRs will pay fair market value for their land, as determined by the chief valuer in accordance with market conditions and established valuation principles," said Mr Chee in Parliament on Monday, replying to questions by Members of Parliament on the land costs.

If the IRs choose to exercise their options for additional gaming areas, they will have to pay additional costs for these areas, he added: "The amount payable will be determined by the chief valuer based on prevailing market conditions when the option is exercised."

"When there are substantial investments that can benefit our economy and our workers, the government is open to directly allocate land to these investors," said Mr Chee. "This is a long-standing policy that has been extended to both local and foreign companies across different industries."

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The two IRs said in April that they would invest S$4.5 billion each in expansion. After the investment, the IRS are expected to attract an additional 500,000 international visitors each year and contribute S$500 million to gross domestic product annually. Mr Chee also noted that tax revenue from the IRs is one of Singapore's many sources of overall tax revenue in a "diverse and resilient" revenue base.

Responding to questions on why the IRs have the option to expand their gaming areas, Mr Chee said that gaming activities contribute more than two-thirds of the IRs' total revenue, and gaming revenue makes it commercially viable for the IRs to offer non-gaming amenities as an integrated package.

He noted that the IRs have not decided to activate the additional gaming options. If both exercise these options in full, the gaming area as a proportion of total floor area will fall from 3 per cent today to 2.3 per cent, as non-gaming area expands by a much larger percentage. 

"The IRs have also stated that the additional gaming provisions will be targeted at higher-tier, non-mass market players, who are mostly tourists," he added.

Addressing concerns about problem gambling, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said the government will be working with the IRs "to implement technology measures to provide patrons with information to allow them to make informed decisions on their bets and better control their gambling expenditure", and to strengthen training for casino gaming staff to identify at-risk patrons.