Three teams have submitted proposals by Tuesday's deadline to build and operate Singapore's second casino resort, the Tourism Board announced.
The submissions came from Las Vegas casino resort developer Eighth Wonder Asia; Malaysia's Genting International PLC and Star Cruises Ltd., who have added Universal Studios as a non-equity partner; and Kerzner International Ltd. and Singapore's CapitaLand Ltd.
The deadline for bids for the resort on Sentosa Island was Tuesday afternoon.
Lim Neo Chian, deputy chairman and chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, called the three bidders"accomplished players."
"We are confident that we will see very strong and exciting proposals,"Lim said.
He said the successful bid would be announced by the end of the year.
Singapore legalized casino gaming last year and said it would allow two casino resorts to be built. The first was awarded in May to Las Vegas Sands Corp. The $3.6 billion casino resort is expected to be operating by July 2009.
The scramble for the Sentosa project changed last week when Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the world's largest casino operator, and Singapore's Keppel Land announced they would not submit a proposal despite earlier intentions.
Harrah's is evaluating a buyout offer from two private equity firms that may have changed the equation, the company said.
Genting, which proposes to build a massive Universal Studios theme park if it wins the bid, is seen as the forerunner in the Sentosa race. On Monday, a Merrill Lynch report put Genting's chances to win at 75 percent.
Genting said in a statement Tuesday that its 5 billion Singapore dollar ($3.1 billion) resort would add 45,000 jobs to Singapore and attract 10 million visitors by 2015, after a soft opening in 2009.
Shortly before Tuesday's bid deadline, Eighth Wonder confirmed that it had partnered with Australian media and gaming company Publishing&Broadcasting Ltd.
Eighth Wonder chairman Mark Advent said the Australian company would operate the casino if its bid was successful.
PBL, along with its Macau joint venture partner Melco International Development Ltd., is an equity partner in the bid, according to Advent. Another casino operator, Biloxi, Miss.-based Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., is also an equity partner. If Eighth Wonder is the successful bidder, Isle of Capri will own a 13.8 percent interest in the project and its equity contribution will be $65 million, the company said in a statement Tuesday. It will be paid 2 percent of the casino's gross revenues for a 15-year period, Isle of Capri said.
Kerzner chairman Sol Kerzner said in a statement Tuesday that its joint proposal with Capitaland was"one of its kind in the world."
"It combines the unique competencies and know-how of the partnership with the architectural brilliance of Frank Gehry and his team. This will be a truly integrated resort and will be the must-see tourist attraction in Asia, drawing families and tourists to Singapore from around the globe,"he said.
Kerzner will have the majority 60 percent stake, while CapitaLand will have the remaining 40 percent, the statement said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.