Marina Bay Sands opening delayed to early next year

The opening of Singapore’s first casino has been put back several months due to shortages of labour and materials, the chairman of developer Las Vegas Sands said Wednesday.

Sheldon Adelson said Marina Bay Sands will open early next year for its initial phase, after being originally slotted to welcome its first visitors by the end of this year.

“The opening date we seriously anticipate will be in January or February,” Adelson told journalists and guests at a ceremony marking the finishing of construction of the development’s three 55-storey hotel towers.

“We can’t control the flow of sand to make concrete with, we can’t control the availability of steel… and we can’t control the availability of labour due to other projects that are in the market,” he said.

Las Vegas Sands said in March that at least half of the casino complex, located in Singapore’s financial district, would start commercial operations by the end of this year.

Adelson on Wednesday put the total cost of the development at S$8.0 billion (US$5.5 billion).

Marina Bay Sands is Singapore’s first casino project to be awarded, in 2006. As well as gaming, the complex will include hotel, convention, luxury retail and performing arts facilities.

A second casino, Resorts World at Sentosa, is scheduled to open in phases also starting early 2010 and will feature the world’s biggest oceanarium with 700,000 fish and a Universal Studios theme park.

Singapore in 2005 gave the approval for casinos to be developed in a bid to draw more visitors to the city-state, whose main attractions are shopping, dining, night life and animal parks.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Jul 2009

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