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Friday, October 31, 2008

Las Vegas Sands, Resorts say S'pore casinos on track

SINGAPORE: Las Vegas Sands plans to open its Singapore casino by end-2009 as scheduled despite a report that the project will be delayed, a Singapore-based company executive said yesterday.

"We continue to target the end of 2009 for the opening of Marina Bay Sands," George Tanasijevich, general manager of Marina Bay Sands, said in a statement.

His comments follow a report in the Straits Times newspaper yesterday, which said the casino project was several months behind schedule due to construction issues and a shortage of labour.

An old sea wall built by British colonial rulers set back the laying down of foundation works on the construction site which sits on reclaimed land, the report said.

According to the paper, event organisers said the casino had indicated that it would only accept bookings from April 2010.

The Marina Bay Sands is being built on reclaimed land near Singapore's central business district and is scheduled to open in late 2009. The second, Genting International's Resorts World at Sentosa, is slated for completion in 2010.

Resorts World may also see a delay in the opening of some of its facilities although a casino spokeswoman said it was "on track" for a "soft opening" in 2010, the paper said.

The Straits Times said Resorts World at Sentosa was in talks with the government to defer the opening of some facilities in the US$4.1 billion (US$1 = RM3.55) project.

However, four hotels, the Universal Studios theme park and the casino would open as scheduled in the first quarter of 2010, the paper added.

The delay in the opening of some of the facilities is due to the need to find storage space for the equipment for the attractions in the Universal Studios theme park, it said.

Resorts World at Sentosa spokeswoman Krist Boo denied there were any delays.

"The development is progressing well and on schedule," she said in a statement.

The plan all along was for a "soft launch" in the first quarter of 2010 with Universal Studios, Festive Walk, the casino and most of the hotels, she said.

The other attractions, including the marine life park, a spa and two hotels were scheduled to open in subsequent quarters, she added.

By Reuters, AFP

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