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Las Vegas Sands Ready To Invest US$2B In Singapore Casino
Las Vegas Sands Inc. met with Singapore government officials to
discuss a gaming venue in the conservative city-state, a top company
executive said Thursday, adding that the company was ready to pump as
much as US$2 billion into the project.
"We are very interested in the possibility of developing a casino in
Singapore," President and Chief Operating Officer William Weidner told
reporters on the sidelines of a hotel conference here.
The company, which already runs the upscale Venetian in Las Vegas and
this week opened a US$260 million casino in Macau, hopes to own 100% of
the Singapore project but is open to a joint venture with a partner,
such as the government.
Singapore, which allows horse racing, sports betting and slot
machines, has long banned casinos, arguing that they breed gambling
addiction and organized crime. But the government, in March, said it was
looking into building an elite casino on its resort island of Sentosa,
targeting tourists and the country’s upper crust.
Weidner, who has met Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, said
a Singapore delegation is currently in Las Vegas.
But the city-state isn’t likely to jump into gaming with a "mega
resort Las Vegas style," he said, and will probably opt for a
"controlled and more modest" model to test the market first.
And "Singapore could develop a very successful toe-in-the-water
(casino), even if it decides to go no further than that," he said.
"It’s a market that could attract millions…The Indian, Indonesian,
Thai and Vietnamese markets, those are the natural target markets."
Las Vegas Sands expects a Singapore venture to offer it access to
Southeast Asian markets that aren’t being tapped by its new Macau
The company has plans to spend US$2 billion to create an Asian
version of Las Vegas’ Strip in Macau. The first phase of Macau’s Cotai
Strip will likely be ready by late 2006 or early 2007.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive