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Singapore government lends hand to casino developers

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The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it was working with the developers of two casino resorts to resolve any potential delays and facilitate their completion, reported AFP.

In a statement issued to AFP late Thursday, the tourism agency said it was "aware that the current uncertain economic climate may give rise to concerns on the opening" of the casinos and was monitoring the situation.

The statement followed a report in The Straits Times newspaper on Thursday that Marina Bay Sands, which is being built by Las Vegas Sands, may not open fully at the end of next year as scheduled.

The report also said that Resorts World at Sentosa, the second casino resort which is being built by Malaysia's Genting International, was in talks with the government to defer the opening of some facilities.

Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa both said their projects were on track to open as scheduled.

"STB has been informed by Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World that they expect the respective IRs (integrated resorts) to open in 2009 and 2010 respectively," the tourism board said.

"Together with key agencies, we are working closely and are in regular dialogue with both companies to resolve any potential delays that may arise, and to facilitate the completion of the projects."

Singapore is betting on the casino complexes, which will also include hotels, convention centres, family attractions, restaurants and shops, to boost the modern city-state's attractiveness to foreign tourists.

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