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SINGAPORE-Four groups comprising some of the biggest names in the global casino business have submitted disclosure forms ahead of bids for a second Singapore casino licence, the Singapore Tourism Board has revealed. Harrah’s has teamed with Singapore property firm Keppel Land in a proposal for the site on Sentosa island. The others to file disclosure forms are: Eighth Wonder Asia, Malaysia’s Genting International and Star Cruises, and Bahamas-based Kerzner International. Kerzner has teamed with CapitaLand, another Singapore property firm. South African casino operator Sun International had expressed interest in the Sentosa project but did not file disclosure forms by the deadline.

Disclosure forms were required as the first stage of bidding, explains Margaret Teo, the tourism board’s director for integrated resorts. “Proposers are required to submit the forms to allow the probity checks to be completed,” she says.

In a separate statement, the Harrah’s-Keppel Land team confirmed they “will develop a proposal” for the Sentosa project. Last week, Las Vegas-based Eighth Wonder said it will build the world’s “most talked about resort” if it wins a casino licence in Singapore but did not give details. Genting and Star Cruises, both part of the Malaysian casino operator Genting Group, announced they have tied-up with Universal Parks and Resorts of the United States to build a Universal Studios theme park as part of the development if they win.

Sentosa, a small island just south of Singapore, is already home to beaches, luxury residential development and an entertainment complex. Singapore last year 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 that would include hotels and other facilities as well as gaming areas. The city-state in May awarded Las Vegas Sands a licence to build a casino project in the waterfront Marina Bay area, with the opening due in 2009.

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