The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is neither a hotel, nor a casino, but the world’s most expensive integrated resort/casino property built on Indonesian soil. Yes, you read that right, it was constructed on Indonesian soil that was dumped in Singapore bay to reclaim the land for development.
The property is unique; it features 2561 rooms, 121,600 m2 of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) space, a collection of fancy celebrity restaurants, a huge shopping mall, and most importantly the Casino, which brings in the most revenue and contributes the most to the MBS’ profit. It employs over 9,700 permanent staff, as well as additional temporary staff when required.
We started our tour in the Convention center, where we were briefed on the tremendous space it encompasses. Where else in Singapore can one have a roundtable banquet facility seating 6,000 people in a single pillar-less banquet hall? Next up was the Casino. To say it was massive is an understatement and it glitters like gold. We looked down from the floor above at the countless slot machines, casino tables, and more than 30 private gaming rooms reserved for high-flyers. Paiza, a special VIP members-only club, is also located there, with a dedicated entry from the hotel to the casino via the Dragon/Paiza Bridge. Getting into Paiza isn’t easy; only players who meet the average bet and length of play criteria for their respective rooms are invited. We were surprised to learn about the role of “gaming ambassadors,” of which there are 127 at the MBS Casino. Gaming Ambassadors are there to help casino patrons who express dismay at losing too much or being unable to stop. These ambassadors will direct them to resources on gambling addiction like the National Council on Problem Gambling’s website and help line, or organizations such as the National Addictions Management Service. We were briefed on the Council of Problem Gaming and on schemes such as “self-exclusion,” “family exclusion,” and “third party exclusion,” which allow individuals with gambling problems to be excluded from the Casino.
The personalized service and care provided by MBS is seamless. For example, they even have their own herbs garden, managed by the Executive Chef himself. MBA also has the advantage of being quite eco-friendly by participating in rain water harvesting or food recycling to make compost. These small steps make a big difference for the environment.
We next visited the observation deck on the 57th floor, which can hold 900 people and from which you have a perfect view of Singapore city.
Then came the brilliant Presidential Suite, which commands 509 m2, including 3 bedrooms with balconies, two living rooms, a grand piano, a media room, a study, a massage room, and a mini gymnasium. The view from the room would make anyone feel like the king of the world. But all of this comes for a price… S$16,000 per night. I’m sure once we get jobs after our MBA, we’ll love to back to Singapore especially to stay in the Marina Bay Sands Presidential Suite. ;-)
Mr. NK, the Human Resource Development Manager who gave us the tour of the property, informed us that the MBS changes their furniture regularly and that the old furniture is sold to the staff at a concessional price, with the proceeds going towards charity.
We finished the visit with a Q&A session with Mr. Maunik, the Senior Vice President of Marketing. He was the image of a true hotelier, smiling and sharp, and answered all our questions regarding marketing the brand, revenue generation, competition, KPIs, etc.
All in all it was a great experience for those of us who had not had much exposure to the casino and hotel world, particularly with an integrated property as huge as the Marina Bay Sands.