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Companies Look to Singapore for New Market

8 Nov 2004

SINGAPORE – As reported by the Agence France Presse: "Watch out, Macau. International gambling companies searching for new Asian markets are waiting for Singapore to give the go-ahead for a proposed Las Vegas-style casino resort aimed at boosting tourism in the wealthy city-state.

"Singapore is expected to issue a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) soon to potential developers, and top executives of the US casino industry have been visiting the Southeast Asian country to check out business opportunities.

"…Top executives from casino giants Caesars Entertainment and Harrah's Entertainment were part of a high-powered US business delegation that called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other officials here last week.

"…Singaporean casual gamblers and high-rollers have to travel to nearby countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia, or go all the way to Macau, Australia, Las Vegas or Europe to satisfy their casino itch.

"…A spokesman for Singapore's ministry of trade and industry told AFP 'the government is currently studying the development of a distinctive world-class integrated resort which could include a casino component.'

"…Jonathan Galaviz, a Las Vegas-based casino industry analyst who was in Singapore recently, said a globally-competitive casino resort would require at least one billion US dollars in investment and take two years to build from scratch.

"…With an affluent population of four million people and some seven million tourists per year, Singapore can support a major casino complex, said Galaviz, who noted that metropolitan Las Vegas has an even smaller population…"

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