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Analysts Optimistic About Singapore Casino Prospects

19 April 2005

SINGAPORE – As reported by the Singapore Business Times: "Most analysts and industry watchers are decidedly bullish over the economic prospects and spin-offs an integrated casino resort will bring to Singapore, although social costs are still hard to quantify.

"One of the most detailed reports released to date - a 136-page analysis by Wall Street giant Merrill Lynch - clearly spells out the benefits to Singapore's economy and industries, citing direct benefits to tourism and construction, and indirect benefits to the retail and hotel sectors.

"According to the report issued last month, an integrated resort in Singapore could have an enterprise value of more than $8 billion, bring in $3.4 billion a year in revenue and add $1.4 billion to the government's coffers in taxes annually.

"…However, the Wall Street giant said that only the Marina site is likely to have the facilities and large enough gross floor area to support a mega-development.

"…In its report, Merrill gave a breakdown of who it thought would ultimately win the bids.

"CapitaLand and MGM Mirage, Wynn Resorts partnering City Developments, Las Vegas Sands and Harrah's Entertainment partnering Keppel Land, all received a 20 per cent chance of succeeding, although not all these tie-ups have been officially confirmed.

"Kerzner, which has tied up with CapitaLand, and Tabcorp partnering GuocoLand-Village Leisure, were cited as 'wildcards' by Merrill.

"And the spill-over effects are likely to be beneficial to the average Singaporean as well. Just two days ago, labour chief Lim Boon Heng said that two IRs could directly create up to 10,000 jobs, and several thousand more indirectly…"

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