Singapore Dreams

Nineteen companies have submitted proposals to build a casino resort in Singapore. How to choose the winner? I’ve got three ideas.

First, here’s the news from the always-reputable Yahoo:

The Singapore government has received 19 proposals for an integrated resort with casino and the Cabinet will decide whether to go ahead with the project in four to six weeks, Channel NewsAsia reported Wednesday, quoting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Lee, in an address to Parliament, also said he won’t call a referendum on the casino, despite demands from several members of Parliament, the news channel said

Singapore had for several decades opposed having casinos on its soil, but the government is now considering a change because such projects could help double annual visitor arrivals to 17 million and triple tourism spending to S$30 billion a year by 2015.

Religious and civic groups and several lawmakers have voiced concerns about organized gambling and the potential social problems, however, although there already is a lucrative government-owned lottery business run by Singapore Pools.

Companies that have announced plans to vie for the island’s first casino project include Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) and MGM Mirage (MGG) of the U.S., Australia’s Tabcorp Ltd. (TAH.AU) and Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL.AU), Bermuda’s Kerzner International Ltd. (KZL) and Malaysia’s Genting Bhd. (3182.KU).

Singapore Receives 19 Proposals For Casino – Report

Since Singapore is notoriously free from political corruption, I’d like to suggest three models for choosing the winner(s).

1. Carefully study each proposal, weigh the potential gains and costs, and pick those that offer the maximum benefit and minimum downside.

2. Hold a reality-TV style contest where each organization has to perform various tasks related to running an “integrated resort,” such as booking entertainment, implementing changes to a casino floor, and dealing with irate parons. Each week, viewers vote the least successful contestant out of the casino.

3. Hold a lottery.

Hey, if it works for kindergarten kids, it should be fine for casino developers. right?

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