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Harrah’s says evaluating bid for Singapore casino

New York – Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest gambling company, is still deciding whether it should bid for a casino in Singapore, a spokesman said on Wednesday, ahead of a July 31 deadline.

Harrah’s, which teamed up with Singapore’s Keppel Land Ltd., lost to rival Las Vegas Sands Corp. in its bid for the first of two planned casino resorts in the city-state.

It later said it would decide on whether or not to bid for the second casino, which is planned for Singapore’s resort island of Sentosa.

„We are continuing to evaluate our position in Singapore,“ Harrah’s spokesman Alberto Lopez said. „There is a considerable amount of effort that is ongoing as we review our position.“

Harrah’s, which has been aggressive in other regions, including Europe, is yet to open a casino in Asia, including the booming gambling market in Macau.

In Singapore, three groups have already said that they will bid on the Sentosa island project.

Southeast Asia’s largest developer, CapitaLand Ltd., has said it is pushing ahead with a joint bid with Bahamas-based Kerzner International, while resorts builder Mark Advent has said he would bid with his privately owned Eighth Wonder with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Isle of Capri Casinos Inc..

A third bidding group, Malaysia’s Genting group, has an exclusive tie-up with theme park company Universal Studios.

The bidders face a July 31 deadline to deposit a fee and submit forms to Singapore authorities, Harrah’s Lopez said. The final bids are due in October.

Harrah’s, which reports its second-quarter results on Thursday, saw it shares fall 28 cents to USD 64.08 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.