Singapore is looking to return to business, but not for all. As the city-state continues to see new cases of COVID-19, the government has announced that all businesses should be permitted to return to work. However not casinos, as GGRAsia reports that the current shutdown of gaming is expected to be extended.
The Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) has told the outlet that they will extend the current shutdown on gambling, which has an end date of June 1. Two casino operators in the city, Las Vegas Sands (Marina Bay Sands) and Genting Singapore (World Sentosa Resorts), have been shut down since April 7.
This announcement comes after the government moved to reopening the economy in phase 1. The finance and wholesale sectors, along with the nearly 40 other sectors, will be allowed to return to work on June 2, adding up to nearly 75% of the economy. That includes manufacturing of consumer electronics, logistics, telecommunications and professional services, but not retailers or hotels.
“The government will further monitor and assess developments in the Covid-19 situation to determine the appropriate timelines for the gradual resumption of more businesses and activities, including the casinos,” the CRA noted.
Although the COVID-19 tally for Singapore is fairly high for a single city, the reported death toll was kept remarkably low at just 22 in over 30 000 cases. Migrant workers have been the hardest hit sector, living mostly in crowded dormitories. On 22 May 612 new cases were reported, meaning that the curve was not significantly flattened at all.
But those migrant workers won’t mix with those in the finance sector, or with many other segments of the economy that are reopening now.
Marina Bay Sands, unlike one casino based in Manila, does not show any anticipation of opening anytime soon. Their website continues to state: “Marina Bay Sands remains closed, in support of the Singapore Government’s ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 situation. We are working closely with the authorities on our re-opening schedule, in line with Singapore’s gradual resumption of business activities in phases.”
Resorts World Sentosa notices on their website indicates their solidarity for the so-called circuit breaker shutdown in Singapore: “Following the recent announcement by the Singapore Government on gradual easing of circuit breaker measures from June 2, Resorts World Sentosa will continue to suspend all guest offerings including Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island, and Casino until further notice.”