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Packer and Ho Decline to Bet on Singapore Casino 2006-01-03
James Packer�s Australia's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. and the Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho�s Melco International Development Ltd. have announced that they will withdraw their joint bid to build a casino in Singapore.
The proposed casino was to be built in Marina Bay, which is located in Singapore�s downtown business district.
The casino duo cited the high investment costs needed to finance the project as the reason for their wish to discard the plans. The expected profits from the casinos, they said, simply do not justify the costs involved.
It is not inherently prohibitively expensive to build a casino in Singapore; the problem lies, rather, with the strict rules of the Singaporean government. The government will levy a daily fee of approximately US $59.45 on all Singaporean visitors to the casino, in an attempt to discourage excessive gambling. Casino operators argue that this will cut into their profits excessively.
Singapore only recently decided to grant casino licenses, and many companies initially expressed interest in bidding on one of two licenses. However, a good number of the companies soon dropped out of the bidding due to the aforementioned, and other, harsh restrictions of the Singaporean government.
This decision by James Packer is his first major business move after the death of his father, Kerry Packer, last week.
(By Keren)