I‘m sure you’re familiar with our city skyline.
Treasure this scene a little more because its going to change in the next few years. Specifically, they’re birthing another tower beside the three iconic towers of Marina Bay Sands.
And this is just the start of big plans that are happening within the next 6 years, involving our two integrated resorts (IR), Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about a more current development, which is taking effect from today:
Increased Casino Levy
Our two casinos are not spared from the upcoming changes, and they’re starting with the Casino Entry Levy on Singaporeans and PRs.
Recreational, problem or pathological gamblers, this update is for you. From 4 April (yes, today) the day levy is raised from $100 to $150, and the annual levy from $2,000 to $3,000.
(Bet you didn’t know there’s an annual levy, eh?)
There will also be a new two-tiered tax system in from March 2022 on the gross gaming revenue, but you most likely don’t care much about it since it’s not your money.
But this would interest you.
Hello, Casino Expansions
According to The Straits Times, the casinos are permitted to expand their gaming space from 30,000 sq m to 32,500 sq m. This is done “in order for the new attractions to remain commercially viable, but that any additions will be targeted at “higher-tier non-mass market players, who are mainly tourists”.
In other words, they need the revenue but they want it to come from the pockets of foreigners.
And for those of you who are still afraid that our citizens will be the ones feeding the state coffers, the government is “closely monitoring the potential social impact of the gaming segment” and have determined the situation stable thus far.
Nevertheless, they are wary and will activate the following precautions, like working with the Ministry of Social and Family Development to help gamblers make more informed decisions and training IR employees to spot gamblers who are starting to spiral and refer them to help.
But enough about this.
Even Bigger Expansion of non-Gaming Areas
I’m assuming there are a good portion of people who either can’t or don’t want to gamble, so here come’s the more relatable part. A whooping $9 billion is being invested in these “non-gaming areas” at MBS and Sentosa, so look forward to these changes:
Say goodbye to the Madagascar area in Universal Studios Singapore (USS), and welcome two new areas: Minion Park and Super Nintendo World.
While it’s a little sad that we’re losing an area that forms part of the landscape that lots of people have already formed memories on, it’s probably for the best because the Madagascar area is one of the most barren places currently.
Anyway, we can’t stay gloomy for long when the replacements look so enticing.
Also, at the S.E.A. Aquarium, a new Singapore Oceanarium three times larger than the existing aquarium, will take over the space currently occupied by the Maritime Experiential Museum. Once again, it’s a pity because the museum looks plenty attractive, but hey there’s still time to explore it one last time!
Other miscellaneous additions include a new waterfront lifestyle complex housing two hotels, retail spaces and eateries. There are also plans for an unmanned shuttle to run along the Sentosa Boardwalk, which currently connects Sentosa to VivoCity.
Developments will take place from 2020 to 2025 with tidbits opening every year.
The 4th tower we talked about to join the current 3 will be a 1000-room luxury hotel that only has suites.
There will also be a new entertainment arena optimised for concerts, and it aims to attract A-list artistes.
Finally, new spaces for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) will be created at both IRs at MBS and Sentosa.
And by the way, here’s a nice infographic for those who really wanted to know how good all this is for our society and economy.
[JUST IN] A S$9billion boost to the economy and more lifestyle and recreation options for Singaporeans! Announced this…
Yeah, you’ve read it right: there’ll be 5,000 new jobs.