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February 20, 2009

Cost overruns threaten casino projects in Singapore

Genting International , the overseas arm of Malaysia's Genting Bhd , and Las Vegas Sands are reportedly facing more cost overruns on their casino-resort projects in Singapore, reported Reuters.

Genting International said late on Thursday that its Resorts World at Sentosa, which is scheduled to open early next year, will cost S$6.59 billion ($4.32 billion) compared with the previous estimate of S$6 billion. Genting had originally projected the cost of the project at S$5.2 billion.

Las Vegas Sands Corp has also been hit by spiralling construction costs in Singapore, The Straits Times newspaper said on Friday. Sands recently revised the cost of its Marina Bay Sands casino-resort to $5.4 billion versus the previous estimate of $4.5 billion and an initial estimate of $3.2 billion.

Singapore legalised casino gaming in 2005 and said it will allow two multi-billion-dollar casinos to be built as part of an ambitious plan to double annual visitor arrivals to 17 million by 2015.

Casino operators worldwide are being stung by a squeeze in credit markets and a drop in business as the global recession spreads.

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