Singapore moves into next round of selecting casino operators - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Singapore has invited gaming operators to come up with detailed proposals for two casino resorts in the city-state, nearly a week after legalizing casinos, news media reported on Sunday.

The Singapore Tourism Board has invited firm proposals from gambling companies such as South Africa's Peermont Global and Sun International, Bahamas-based Kerzner International, Harrah's Entertainment of the United States and Malaysia's Genting Berhad, said state-run broadcaster Channel News Asia.

Australia's PBL and Nevada-based MGM Mirage and Las Vegas Sands are also among the companies who have been contacted by the board, the news channel reported. However, Hong Kong's New Century Group was one company whose initial proposal did not make the cut, it said.

The government has said it would announce the successful bids in December.

Singapore announced on Monday it would lift a decades-old ban to allow the building of casinos.

After months of robust public debate in the squeaky-clean island republic, Singapore said it made its decision to boost the local tourism industry and shake off the country's straight-laced image.

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