SINGAPORE-Eighth Wonder says it will build the world’s “most talked about resort” if it wins a casino license in Singapore. Bids close on the Oct. 10 and most of the world’s biggest casino-resort developers are expected to submit proposals.

“What we will be unveiling to the world is not just something that is going to be a local or a regional destination,” Eighth Wonder chairman Mark Advent says. “It is absolutely going to attract tourists all around the world…it will be in my prediction the most talked about resort destination in the history of the world.”

The privately held Las Vegas-based casino developer has already undertaken lengthy study missions to Sentosa island, where the project will be built, Advent says. Four other firms have also expressed interest in the Sentosa bid. Advent declined to unveil details of his company’s proposal but promised the gaming resort will have the “wow factor” if Eighth Wonder wins. He says details will be made known to the government on Oct. 10.

Bahamas-based Kerzner International, South African casino operator Sun International, US gaming giant Harrah’s Entertainment and Malaysia’s Genting International in April have also obtained the 700-page document outlining specifications for the Sentosa project. The winner of the Sentosa license is expected to be announced by the end of the year. Sentosa, a small island just south of Singapore, is already home to beaches, luxury residential development and an entertainment complex.

The tourism board says the Sentosa casino resort will occupy 49 hectares to provide about 343,000 sm (3.69 million sf) of gross floor area. It set the land price for the project at S$605 million (US$382 million), allowing bidders to focus on other aspects of the project instead of engaging in a price war for the location.

Last year, Singapore ended a ban on casino gambling in a bid to spruce up its staid image and attract more tourists. It then announced plans for two casino resorts. The city-state in May awarded Las Vegas Sands a license to build on the waterfront Marina Bay area. The casino is expected to open in 2009.

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