April opening for Singapore Marina Bay casino

Harry Suhartono & Kevin Lim

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s waterfront casino on the edge of the city state’s business district, is likely to be open in April, Channel News Asia reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

The casino, operated by Las Vegas Sands, had been originally scheduled to open its doors by the end of 2009, but the date was put back to the first quarter of 2010.

“Sources have told MediaCorp the earliest the resort will start operations is in April. But some industry observers said June is a more realistic date,” Channel News Asia, the news TV channel operated by MediaCorp, reported on its website.

They source said the resort was determined to open at least the casino and about a third of the rooms first as they were considered “high-revenue areas”.

Marina Bay Sands was not immediately available to comment.

The Singapore casino will cost $5.25 to $5.5 billion against an original forecast of $3.2 billion when the project was conceived and will go into operation at a time when tourism is shrinking due to global economic recession.

A second casino is being built by Genting Singapore, a unit of Malaysia’s Genting Bhd, on the resort island on Sentosa. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2010.

Singapore is hoping the casinos will boost the number of visitors and benefit its retail sectors as well as flag carrier Singapore Airlines, the world’s largest airline by market value.


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