Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sands S’pore to open in April

SINGAPORE – US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands said on February 24 its casino project in Singapore will open on April 27, months behind the original schedule of late 2009.

The opening of the US$5.5-billion Marina Bay Sands casino resort complex will come two months after the start of gaming operations at Resorts World Sentosa, a development owned by Malaysia’s Genting Group.

Las Vegas Sands said that 963 hotel rooms, part of the shopping mall and convention centre will also open together with the casino.

The second phase of the opening slated for June 23 will include a massive sky garden on top of the development’s three hotels as well as more retailers.

“Our dedication to completing this development never wavered” despite the challenging economic climate, Las Vegas Sands chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson said.

Construction of the complex – the US gaming firm’s first development in Southeast Asia – had been delayed by materials shortages and financial difficulties faced by subcontractors due to the recent global economic slump.

Las Vegas Sands, which also has operations in Macau, described its Singapore development as “the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built”.

The Singapore casino combined with those in Macau will make the company less dependent on operations in locations “where the economy is still working to recover”, said Michael Leven, Las Vegas Sands president.

The group said earlier this month that soaring revenue at its Macau operations helped reduce losses in the fourth quarter of last year.