Singapore’s to Announce Second Casino License

SINGAPORE ~ The winning bid for a multibillion-dollar casino complex on Singapore’s resort island Sentosa is to be announced in early December, a cabinet minister said.

“I think whichever one we choose, Singapore will be the better for it. I believe the decision will be likely ready somewhere around early December or so – before Christmas definitely,” said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan. quoted Mah as saying during a visit to China that the Sentosa casino resort would be different in several key aspects from one to be built along Marina Bay near the downtown area.

“I think in terms of the physical specifications they are different; in terms of the target audience, they are also different. So we can’t compare like for like, but in terms of the quality of the bid, I must say that they are all very good bids,” he added.

The Marina Bay casino, to be built on reclaimed land by US giant Las Vegas Sands that won the bid last May, will be close to the banking and convention district. Sands says it will spend US$3.2 billion on the project, to be ready in 2009.

Sentosa is a family oriented tourist destination with beach hotels, golf courses, an aquarium and a marina already in operation.

Bidding closed this month for Sentosa casino, with three groups led by Malaysia’s Genting International, Bahamas-based Kerzner International and US-based Eighth Wonder in contention.

The three bidders have each agreed to spend more than $3 billion on the Sentosa casino and offered a wide range of non-gambling tourist draws such as theme parks and marine attractions.

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