Tabcorp Joins in on Singapore Casino Bid - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Australia's Tabcorp Joins P&O Cruises for Singapore Casino Bid

 

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Australian gaming company Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. said Tuesday it is teaming up with cruise operator P&O Cruises International in a bid for Singapore's proposed casino resorts.

The two companies agreed to develop an entertainment resort in the city-state and explore sales and marketing opportunities in Singapore and Australia. P&O Cruises is part of U.K-based Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise line, while Tabcorp is the fourth largest gaming company in the world.

"We strongly believe in the potential of cruising in the Southeast Asian region and Singapore is our chosen base for expanding our presence in the region," said P&O Cruises Australia's managing director Gavin Smith. Tabcorp had earlier said it plans to make Singapore its Asian base.

Smith said P&O Cruises would bring at least 65,000 passengers to Singapore in its cruise ships in 2006.

After months of debate, Singapore announced in April it would lift a decades-old ban to allow the building of casinos to boost tourism and help the city-state shed its staid image.

Earlier this year, Singapore shortlisted 14 bidders to build and operate the island-republic's two casino resorts. They include Kerzner International Ltd. and CapitaLand Ltd.; Harrah's Entertainment Inc.; MGM Mirage and CapitaLand; Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.

Tourism authorities recently postponed issuing formal requests for casino proposals from the gaming companies to the third quarter of 2005 instead of the second quarter-end.

The government was expected to choose the winners by the end of the year.

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