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SINGAPORE-Eight development teams purchased bid documents on Tuesday for the development of a master-planned $3-billion casino resort on Marina Bay here, according to the Singapore Tourism Authority. Buying the documents is the initial step toward bidding for the right to develop the casino resort. In April, the Singapore Tourism Board named the 14 groups it has invited to submit final proposals for the two integrated resorts. The bid documents were originally scheduled to be sold in June; at that time, the successful bidder for Marina Bay was scheduled to be unveiled in December and the resort was expected to open in 2009. It was not immediately clear if that timeline is still in place or has been pushed back.

The list of US operators invited includes Harrah’s Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, MGM Mirage, Kerzner International, Eighth Wonder, Las Vegas Sands and Argosy. Internationally, the list includes TabCorp and PBL/Melco of Australia, Sun International and Peermont Global of South Africa, Genting International of Malaysia, and Guocoland and HPL Properties of Singapore.

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Mirage Inc. were among those purchasing the city-state’s requirements for the project on Tuesday. The Singapore Tourism Authority says each document costs US $6,000 and that it rung up $700,000 in sales. The other casino site, on Sentosa Island, will be sold early next year.

The Sentosa Island property, which is approximately 30 acres, is slated to be a business and convention facility. The Marina Bay site is 116 acres and planned as a family friendly resort. The resorts are expected to create 35,000 new jobs and boost Singapore’s GDP by 1.5 billion Singapore dollars.

In January, the STB said its long-term goal is to double visitor arrivals to 17 million, triple tourism receipts to 30 billion Singapore dollars (US $18.3 billion) and create 100,000 new jobs to the tourism industry by 2015. In 2004, the Singapore tourism generated an estimated 9.6 billion Singapore dollars in tourism revenue in 2004, exceeding STB’s target of $8.7 billion for the year. Singapore also welcomed a record 8.3 million visitors in 2004, which was 36% higher than 2003 and 10% higher than its goal for the year of 7.6 million visitors.

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