Singapore Mulls Spinning the Wheel of Fortune
The Merrill analysts believe the government will greenlight the development, though. They note that Singapore's market share of regional tourist arrivals has declined over the past decade. A flashy large resort could reverse that trend.
Still, casino companies may be cautious about getting their hopes too high, given what has happened elsewhere. The U.K. government, which had originally proposed dozens of Las Vegas-style casinos as part of broad gambling legislation, last week was forced to reduce the number to one in order to win the approval of the Conservative Party, which was concerned about the social impact.
Should the Singapore government decide to go ahead with its casino project, it will seek additional, more-detailed proposals from candidates. The Merrill Lynch analysts predict a July deadline, with the government choosing a winner in December.
Big U.S. casino operators are in the running.MGM Mirage (MGG) which is in the process of acquiring former rival Mandalay Resort Group (MBG), has teamed up with CapitaLand Ltd., one of the largest property companies in Singapore, on a proposal. MGM will own 60% stake of the venture. Kerzner International (KZL), which is based in the Bahamas but whose shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, also has joined forces with CapitaLand for a separate project. Meanwhile, Harrah's Entertainment (HET), which soon will become the world's largest casino company when it closes its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment (CZR), also has submitted a proposal. Singapore's Keppel Land Ltd. has said it paired off with Harrah's. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) -- already operating in Asia at its Sands Macao casino -- and industry legend Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts (WYNN) have submitted proposals, though neither company has announced a Singapore partner. These big resort operators will also face competition from rivals outside North America. For example, the Genting Group of Malaysia, which owns and operates that country's only casino, last week said that it had teamed with General Electric (GE ) subsidiary Universal Parks and Resorts to build a theme resort.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV