Sands Project Causes Worry

Despite assurances from the developer, Singapore is looking for ways to avoid ending up with a mammoth unfinished project on a prominent piece of land if U.S. casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. is unable to complete a $4.9 billion gaming venture, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Sands said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week that it was in danger of not meeting obligations to its lenders on a $3.8 billion portion of its debt unless it raises capital, cuts spending on developments or increases its Las Vegas earnings by year end. The company said it would halt or delay projects in Macau and the U.S. to conserve cash and concentrate on Singapore. The Singapore Tourism Board, which oversees the Marina Bay Sands Casino development, said Thursday that it welcomes the commitment to Singapore. Earlier this week, the tourism board said it had various options under its agreement with Sands, including to step in "and resume possession of the land...and any other structure on the land, and deal with them as STB sees fit" if the project closes down or if it enters receivership. Singapore government officials are making contingency plans if the financing falls through, said the person familiar with the matter, who didn't elaborate. Read more. (Subscription required.)