10 Dec 2005

Singapore says Wynn drops bid for casino

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd., headed by Las Vegas gaming impresario Steve Wynn, has dropped its bid to build Singapore's first casino, a government official said, leaving five groups in the race for the estimated $3.1 billion project.

Five groups, including three of the biggest names in the casino industry -- U.S. companies Harrah's Entertainment Inc., MGM Mirage, and Las Vegas Sands Corp. -- had submitted disclosure documents to Singapore's government by Friday's deadline, the Singapore Tourism Board said in a statement.

"We remain confident that we will continue to have very strong proposals to choose from," Margaret Teo, the board's director for integrated resorts, said in a statement late on Friday confirming that Wynn Resorts had pulled out of the bidding for the first of two planned casino-resorts.

Singapore invited 12 casino firms and developers to bid for the right to build an "iconic" resort on a par with the Sydney Opera House or Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum, to put the city-state on the map.

The wealthy city-state, which lifted a ban on casinos this year despite strong public opposition, is hoping the two casinos will lure more tourists and boost economic growth.

Singapore's two gaming resorts are expected to cost as much as US$5 billion, including US$3.1 billion for the first one, Merrill Lynch has estimated. The government set a S$1.2 billion price tag for the land for its first casino.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., Australia's largest gaming group, has also withdrawn from the race. It said on Friday it had pulled out due to rising development costs.

Of three U.S. casino operators still in the running, two have teamed up with Singapore government-linked property companies.

The five groups include Harrah's together with Singapore's Keppel Land Ltd.; MGM Mirage with Singapore's CapitaLand Ltd.; and Las Vegas Sands Corp., which said last week that it was still in talks with possible partners.

Malaysian gaming firm Genting International, a unit of Genting Bhd., has teamed up with Star Cruises Ltd., while Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho's Melco International Development Ltd. joined with Australia's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd., which is owned by media magnate Kerry Packer, a keen gambler.

Singapore's first casino development will be located on a downtown waterfront site. The winning bid is expected to be announced by the middle of next year.


Anonymous said...

Am i supposed to be reading between the lines? Is the hidden message: to win resort bid, partner with GLC?

Anonymous said...

agent provocateur...

Anonymous said...

I hope the casinos fail. It is an attempt by the money loving govt of Singapore to sacrifice its people for more profits.

Gambling is a serious problem that the PAP govt never gave a damn about. After so many years, I still see loan shark notices pasted on my lift. If anything, it happens more frequently now.

What this govt cares about is making more money, it citizen's interest is secondary. What is more important is its GLCs - who are bidding for the casino. No doubt that if they win, they will make alot of profits out of Singaporean's misery.

That is how Singapore works.

Truth said...

to anon 3.11AM
1. Some people are "congenital gamblers", as a prominent personality said. If they can't help themselves, no one can.
2. Loan sharks follow congenital gambers.
3. Suicides and other things follow the hounding of indebted gamblers.

Without all this drama, this place would be so sterile. Besides, the above simply results in the weak-willed doing themselves in. Those with discipline and strength of character will forge ahead, further shoring up this place.

Just one viewpoint :)

Anonymous said...

To truth: saying that gambling livens up this place, or otherwise "would be so sterile" is probably the lamest excuse ever. ;)

Think Singaporean said...

"Livens up and make it a vibrant city" at the expense of the citizens' misery?

Small drug traffickers could be intercepted at custom points, so there is still a way to catch and punish them for drug smuggling.

Unlike drug traffickers, those debts collectors working for the loan sharks are found within the country. Different debt collectors will always go at any time within the 24 hours of the day to harrass the victims without knowledge. They don't wear any badge for identification purposes,ok......

As such and at present, it is literally very difficult to catch them at all, let alone the loan sharks. The policemen actually confessed and I heard it with my own hears.

As much as I know, there are at present alot of unreported cases. So, statistics could not truly reflect the true situation.

I could forsee the gambling and illegal loan sharks are going to pose even more social problems in the future. The social costs might outweigh its benefits.

Once the casinos are built and if the problem couldn't be curbed then, who knows, in order to save "face" considering billions of dollars have been spent, so called in the name of boosting the economics of the country, the govt might just simply impose death penalty, just like for the drug trafficking, to easily solve the problem.

"Loan sharks follow congenital gambers"

If the problem at present isn't easily solved, why create more problems to the existing ones in the first place?

Next, they plan to impose the stringent measures to allow only those with certain level of income people to be able to access to the casinos.

Not forgeting that these high income bracket people, who are also professionals, intelligent, innovative, creative or talented, are those high tax payers and are contributing much to the economy. If these people turned into "problematic" people, in addition to the existing group of gamblers, isn't this going to be a big lost as well as big problems to the country?

The problems entail more divorces and affect more innocent children as well as family members. Worse still, if death penalty as a deterrent measure, then more lives will be lost.

The govt themselves will definitely not face the problems but the stress and the sufferings fall upon the citizens themselves. Is this what the govt claims that "they are caring and protecting our interests?" Sometimes, I just wonder whether the sg govt really knows much about their citizens and their lives.

clyde said...

The opening of a casino here in spirit of promoting a more liberal image is just another farce as was the legalisation of chewing gum. And yes, indeed the only motivation is more revenue for Ah Kong. You'll probably guess by now that the government is really only promoting this casino to foreign investors and businesses and not the average working class Singaporean citizen.

I'm not so sure the premature paranoia over loan shark problems is realistic to begin with. Apart from media-generated propaganda as to why NOT to gamble, there is also the matter of the $200 entry fee (per day) and as Think S'porean pointed out, they will be monitoring patrons' income backgrounds. Realistically, I suspect only high flyers and perhaps some upper middle-class citizens will be roaming this casino. I.e. those who use 50 dollar notes as toilet paper. Casinos will also have to consider the significant loss of "small" gamblers that come in quantity.

truth said...

clyde, it is $100 a day or the option of an annual entrance fee of $2,000. On monitoring patrons' income background, duh, never heard of it mate. You can't have both a means test and an annual feel. Are you lot making up these figures and abstractions as you go along? :) No need to answer that... LOL

On livening up this place, it is of course a personal view, and yes it is a very lame reason indeed, but hey it appeals to a few people, like some of the well-heeled (cough! cough!). :)


Anonymous said...

drugs and gambling r both vices. the govt is being so blatantly hypocritical when it insists on DEATH for trafficking while promoting the casino. damn, i tried to book an appointment for one of the free consultations advertised by a migration agent but they were full...just shows how so many ppl wanna quit this country haha

Anonymous said...

anon 2.38pm. I hope you get your wish to emigrate to a greener pasture. Try to pull out all the stops and leave soon, OK. I really wouldn't want you to remain unhappy here :)

Anonymous said...

anon 5.17pm. I hope you enjoy your reservist. Try to volunteer for more, ok. The govt will love you :)

Anonymous said...

How did "reservist" come into the picture? Not everyone posting on this blog is a male Singaporean ;)

Anon who wants to leave SG, quick get your fast track to Oz; there are some 5000 true-blue Aussies at Conulla Beach waiting to give you a very warm welcome. :)

Good day!

Anonymous said...

There was that guy, Mr Zulfikar and his fateha.com website... If one recalls, some time back he left for Oz in a bit of hurry, and then late last year declared he'd like to return to S'pore so long as everything he said and did here was forgotten and forgiven... hehe I wonder why he quickly lost interest in Oz? And I wonder why he wants to retun to S'pore? :)

Think Singaporean said...

"I'm not so sure the premature paranoia over loan shark problems is realistic to begin with"

Clyde, a few days back, the Chinese newspaper reported a case.

A newly-wed couple moved in to stay in a flat which belonged to someone who still owed monies to the loanshark.

When the debt collector came to the flat to demand for the debts, the present owner told him that the ex-owner (the borrower) had shifted and had even showed him their identity cards but he still refused to accept what was told to him.

Apparently, they had ended up having an argument and the debt collector had pushed the women down the staircase and she was miscarriaged.

The case was reported and is pending investigation by the police.

Think Singaporean said...

I also recalled during the heat wave of the casino project, it was one of the TV programmes which interviewed some gamblers.

One case was an Executive of a firm, who earned a good income and was living luxuriously with his family in a condo and had a car.

He said that initially he was just merely trying to entertained his clients and had accompanied them to casinos. Over time, he slowly got into gambling addiction and had lost alot of money. He later went to borrowed from loansharks.

But even by selling off his condo and the car still could not be able to pay up his debts. This is understandable because of the high interest rate and the snowballing effect.

And his marriage was almost on the rock too. But his wife forgave him and had also helped him to borrow from her family members to settle the debt for him eventually.

Anonymous said...

pro-sg anon, ok then as a non-male/s'porean may u be greeted by your friendly neighbourhood loanshark at the staircase with an enthusiastic nudge ;)

btw it's not just a single anon who wants to leave sg; ST itself reported somewhere in the beginning of this year that 20% of s'poreans will migrate if they could - not necessarily to oz. :)


Anonymous said...

Don't think that you blog anonmously, nobody knows who you are. May you too greeted by your friendly neighbourhood loanshark at the staircase with an enthusiastic kick and punch!

Enjoy your happy stay in Singapore!

Anonymous said...

then y r u yourself anonymous bitch? it's ok i can handle a loanshark unlike u. pity your originality ran out and u had to re-use my words.

anyway here's cursing u to be forever left on the shelf as some pathetic spinster, or can never have a baby, or give birth to some deformed infant. that'll really make me happy! :)