SINGAPORE (Apr 3): Genting Singapore is committing to an investment of some $4.5 billion for the expansion of the integrated resort (IR) at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which will see the property increase its gross floor area by approximately 50%.

In view of the substantial investment and to provide business certainty, the government has agreed to extend the exclusivity period for the two casinos at RWS and Marina Bay Sands to end-2030. Authorities add that no other casinos will be introduced during this period.

Genting Singapore’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Resorts World at Sentosa (RWSPL), on Wednesday entered into the second supplemental agreement with Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

The new deal will see Resorts World Sentosa add some 164,000 sq m of gross floor area of leisure and entertainment space.

The new developments will include the expansion of Universal Studios Singapore, with the addition of two new theme parks – Minion Park and Super Nintendo World; the expansion of the S.E.A. Aquarium to be re-branded as "Singapore Oceanarium"; and the conversion of the Resorts World Theatre into a new Adventure Dining Playhouse.

RWS will also see the addition of 1,100 hotel rooms, with two new destination hotels at a new waterfront lifestyle complex, together with the expansion of the Central Zone.

On top of an enhanced waterfront promenade to be lined with restaurants and retail outlets, there will also be an expansion of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) facilities.

To further improve accessibility into Sentosa, RWS will introduce a driverless transport system offering visitors new and more efficient last-mile connectivity, across the Sentosa Boardwalk.

The expansion development will be funded by way of internal resources including operating cash flows, as well as bank borrowings.

The group says the expansion development is a significant reinvestment and expansion opportunity for the company, which will set the stage for the group's sustained future growth.

“When completed, the expanded IR is anticipated to continue to provide a distinctive purpose-of-visit tourism experience and further broaden the IR’s appeal to a wider spectrum of premium customers and millennials,” Genting Singapore says in a statement on Wednesday.

“It will integrate with the future Greater Southern Waterfront and is expected to become the centrepiece of the new entertainment hub of Asia,” it adds.

Genting Singapore says the expansion development is not expected to have a material impact on the group's earnings per share or net tangible asset value per share for the current financial year.

Shares in Genting Singapore closed 0.9% higher at $1.07 on Wednesday, before the release of the announcement.

Separately, in a joint press release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Social and Family Development say RWS will be given an option to deploy an additional 500 sq m of approved gaming area (AGA). The IRs are currently each allowed 15,000 sq m of AGA.

RWS will also be given an option to increase its allowable gaming machines by 800. Within the AGA, each IR is currently allowed 2,500 gaming machines.

The government on Wednesday also announced that casino entry levies for Singaporeans and permanent residents will be raised by 50% from April 4, 2019.

The daily levy will be raised from $100 to $150, and the annual levy will be increased from $2,000 to $3,000, with a 5-year moratorium.