Issue 284
February 20 - February 26, 2006
Volume 6
page 2

As Reported by Reuters Business News

SWANSEA, England - Two hundred new jobs are on their way to Swansea. They will be up for grabs at the city's new casino, Aspers, opening next year in Salubrious Place off Wind Street.

The casino will be the biggest in Swansea, with some 100,000 square feet.

The project, by Aspinalls, is twice the size of their other casino, Aspers at the Gate, in Newcastle, which has 45,000 sq ft of attractions. But the project will be similar, boasting an array of new restaurants and bars.

A company spokesman said: "Aspers will play host to some of the most exciting games ever invented to try your luck."

It is expected to offer all the old favourites, from playing the tables with American roulette to blackjack, three card poker, casino stud poker, mini punto blanco and punto blanco.

There will also be a host of gaming machines with jackpots likely to be set between �500 and �2,000, as well as many electronic gaming terminals.

The Newcastle operation has games like Play Your Cards Right and special times set aside for those who are learning to play.

Swansea could become something of a gambling mecca. While not quite in the same league as Las Vegas, the new centre and its rivals are likely to play host to a whole new generation of players.

Grosvenor has had plans approved for a 25,000 sq ft operation at the St David's Centre in Princess Way, at a cost of �3.9 million.

The company has said its High Street casino is inadequate for its 34,000 members.

Features at the new casino are likely to include a sports lounge, a bar area serving food where entertainment can be provided and a dedicated restaurant area.

Grosvenor has said the new premises will employ 100 staff.

Also on the cards, at SA1 Swansea Waterfront, is a �50 million leisure complex housing a casino, as well as a multi-screen cinema, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Swansea Council leader Chris Holley says the arrival of a large number of new jobs to Swansea is to be welcomed.

He added today: "It is also encouraging that businesses are showing an interest in locatingry.




Rules eased for casinos
As reported by the International Herald Tribune

SINGAPORE - The government on Monday announced relaxed rules governing Harrah's Entertainment, MGM Mirage and rival bidders for the country's first gambling resort, after regulations forced some companies to quit the process.

Bidders will not need regulatory approval for the layout of the casino or have to offer a minimum or maximum number of facilities for any particular game, the minister for home affairs, Wong Kan Seng, told Parliament. The government also scrapped a plan to control a casino's operating hours.

Publishing & Broadcasting of Australia and the Macao gaming billionaire Stanley Ho withdrew a joint bid in January, following the lead of Tabcorp Holdings of Melbourne. Singapore, which lifted its ban on casinos last April, requires the winning bidder to pay a land fee of 1.2 billion Singapore dollars, or $740 million.

"We took into account the investors' feedback and suggestions and decided to relax a number of operational controls on the casino operator that may interfere with their day-to-day operations," Wong said. The other bidders are Las Vegas Sands and Genting of Malaysia, Asia's biggest publicly traded casino operator.

Singapore's casinos will be overseen by the Casino Regulatory Authority, a body with the power to investigate the operator's accounts, background and business connections, Wong said.

S.Africa's Gold Reef says buys casino stakes
As reported by Reuters

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South Africa's Gold Reef Casino Resorts Ltd has completed the refinancing of its black empowerment partner, Akani Leisure Investments Ltd, and is spending some 300 million rand on increasing stakes in some of its casinos, it said on Monday.

Gold Reef said it would spend around 115 million rand to increase its stake in Garden Route to 73.9 percent from 42.5 percent.

The company was also boosting its stake in the Goldfields Casino in the Free State to 74.9 percent by buying a 62.5 percent holding from Tanglepark Trading for 136.5 million rand, plus shareholder loans of 3.1 million rand.

It had also bought a 6 percent interest in West Coast Leisure for 7.8 million rand and has acquired Casinos Austria's right to a royalty of 0.375 percent of Gold Reef's casino operations for 42.4 million rand.

Gold Reef shares rose 1.58 percent on the news, outpacing the Johannesburg all-share index, which fell 1.54 percent.

The Village People

Mohegan Sun: The 1980's eccentric group, The Village People take the stage at Mohegan's Wolf Den March 4 and 5, 2006.

Dates: March 4 & 5

Time: 8 p.m.

For more information: (860) 886-0070

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