The Covid-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for the gaming sector in Singapore, as lockdown measures saw local casinos operating for only a single week during 2Q2020. UOB Kay Hian’s Vincent Khoo and Jack Goh expect a whopping 65-70% contraction in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Singapore’s casinos in 2020, with sector weakness likely to remain in the interim amid difficulties bringing down Covid-19 cases.

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) was particularly badly hit by the pandemic, with Las Vegas’s 2Q2020 results reflecting a more than 95% y-o-y drop in revenue in addition to an EBITDA loss of $159 million. Both the VIP and mass gaming markets were adversely affected, with mass and VIP GGR falling 98.6% and 97.8% y-o-y respectively. “We also see a fall in MBS’ EBITDA margin in 2Q20 at -491.3% from +46.1% in 1Q2020 and +50.3% in 2Q2019,” the analysts remark. 

MBS’s VIP earnings fell primarily due to a steep decline in RCV by 98.3% y-o-y and 98.2% q-o-q. Meanwhile, the mass market was hit by a steep drop in gaming volume, with mass market non-rolling volume plunged 97.6% qoq -- exceeding the historical q-o-q drop of 3-7% -- and 98.7% y-o-y, while slot handle plunged 97.4% y-o-y. 

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