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Singapore Ups the Ante by $1bn for Casino

9 Nov 2005

SINGAPORE -- As reported by the Australian: "Singapore has imposed a stiff minimum bet of almost $1 billion on casino operators vying to play in the island state - including Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd and Tabcorp Holdings.

"Key bidding specifications for Singapore's proposed upmarket Marina Bay casino development include a land price of $S1.2 billion ($966 million) for a 60-year lease on the 20ha waterfront site. The valuation, released this month, comes after a land parcel adjoining the site sold for $S1.8 billion during a recent tender.

"It means the overall cost of the casino-hotel project, which has attracted the interest of 12 potential bidders, including Las Vegas operators Las Vegas Sands Corp, Wynn Resorts, Harrah's Entertainment and MGM Mirage, will now be at least $3 billion.

"While some casino operators have privately expressed surprise at the land price, Tabcorp corporate affairs general manager Bruce Tobin said it was in line with the company's expectations..."

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