Packer loses on casino bid - Wednesday 13th of December 2006

PUBLISHING and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) has been unsuccessful in obtaining a casino licence from the Singapore government, as part of the Eighth Wonder Asia syndicate.

PBL (Quote,News) and its joint venture partner in Asia, Melco International Development Ltd, had joined the bid for Singapores second casino licence as a minority participant in the consortium headed by the US firm, Eighth Wonder.

The syndicate had placed a bid to operate an integrated resort including a casino on Sentosa Island, Singapore.

PBL executive chairman James Packer described the participation by the Melco/PBL joint venture in the bidding process as a valuable experience.

He said Melco/PBL would continue to seek further opportunities for investment in the rapidly expanding Asian gaming, hospitality and entertainment markets.

Mr Packer said he had been enormously impressed by the Eighth Wonder concept conceived by Mark Advent and by the depth of creative talent, energy and professionalism of the consortium partners.

Mr Packer said in October the company had joined the consortium bidding for the right to develop a $US3.5 billion ($4.71 billion) resort and casino.

The Las Vegas-based Eighth Wonder Consortium was short-listed alongside Kerzner International with partner CapitaLand, and the eventual winner of the bid Genting International Star Cruises.

Genting won approval for the proposed Resorts World at Sentosa, a casino resort which will be home to the regions first Universal Studios theme park.

The park will also include DreamWorks Digital Animation Studios.

Resorts World at Sentosa, is to be launched by early 2010.

It will include the worlds largest oceanarium, Quest Marine Life Park, and a theme parked called Equarius Water Park.

It will also include six hotels with a combined 1830 rooms.

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