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Singapore Fixes Casino Land Price

4 November 2005

SINGAPORE – As reported by Bloomberg: "Singapore said companies competing for the right to build the country's first casinos will pay a fixed price for land, a move aimed at averting a bidding war that would sap funds available for developing the projects.

"The government will sell a 20.6-hectare (51-acre) site in downtown Singapore for S$1.2 billion (US$707 million), Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said. Bidders including MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. must submit their casino proposals by March 29, and a winner may be named by mid-2006, he said.

"Singapore in April said it would drop a long-standing ban on casinos and allow two to be included in resorts planned for the city's downtown and a nearby island to help lure tourists. Fixing the price of land will allow bidders to spend more on the resorts themselves, Lim told reporters in Singapore today.

"…The government didn't disclose the price of land for the proposed casino on the southern resort island of Sentosa.

"Casino operators including MGM, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Genting Bhd. are among 12 groups competing for a license to run casinos in Singapore. The companies plan to tap a market that's within a six-hour flight of 2.5 billion people, and replicate the success of new casinos in the Chinese city of Macau…"

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