Wynn Slams Singapore's Casinos - Thursday 12th of May 2005

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn said the Singapore government's direct involvement in designing the city-state's first two casinos was "unsophisticated" and could compromise the outcome, a newspaper reported Saturday.

"It's control and direction by people who've never done this before," the Business Times newspaper quoted Wynn as saying. "There's an awful lot of control and direction in the documents we've received which, frankly speaking, is unsophisticated." Wynn's projects include the Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and The Mirage in Nevada.

Wynn Resorts is among 14 companies and consortiums that have been invited to bid for the right to develop and operate two casinos in Singapore, part of the island nation's desire to reinvent itself. Singapore is worried that the casinos will lead to an increase in gambling among its 4.2 million citizens, and the government listed specific design-related criteria for the project, including the total amount of floor space the gambling arena should have.

"Don't issue thunderbolts of wisdom from the top of Mount Olympus," Wynn was quoted as saying. "Ultimately, this is not between me and the government, it's between me and the public." Other gambling giants that have expressed interest include Las Vegas casino operators Harrah's Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands, Malaysia's Genting Bhd. and Macau casino king Stanley Ho.

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