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Four Groups File For Second License on Sentosa

US gaming giant Harrah's Entertainment and three other groups have filed pre-bidding requirements or disclosure forms for a second Singapore casino license, the Lion City officials revealed recently.

Singapore's tourism board identified the other groups who submitted disclosure forms as: Eighth Wonder Asia, Malaysia's Genting International and Star Cruises, and Bahamas-based Kerzner International.

Harrah's teamed up with Singapore property firm Keppel Land, while Kerzner partnered with CapitaLand, likewise a Singapore property firm.

Earlier, Eighth Wonder has proudly told reporters it will build the world's "most talked about resort" if it wins a casino license in Singapore

On the other hand, Genting and Star Cruises disclosed they have tied-up with Universal Parks and Resorts of the United States to design a Universal Studios theme park if they win the bid.

Observers noted that South African casino operator Sun International had earlier indicated interest in the Sentosa project but did not file disclosure forms by the deadline.

Sentosa is a small lovely island south of Singapore. Beaches, luxury residential development and an entertainment complex occupy the place.

Singapore in 2005 ended a ban on casino gambling to add funk to its image and encourage more tourists to visit. It subsequently announced plans for two casino "resorts" in the city state.

Just in May, Singapore awarded Las Vegas Sands a licence to build a casino project in the waterfront Marina Bay area, set to open in 2009.