Singapore’s two integrated resorts are undergoing a $9 billion expansion as part of the city state’s bid to revive its flagging economic fortunes. But this may not be enough to drive Singapore’s next phase of growth.

(Apr 8): On a recent Saturday afternoon, the shops at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) were teeming with tourists, some of whom had paid $10 a head for a shopping mall version of a sampan ride down the Singapore River. Later that evening, the ballrooms upstairs played host to a glitzy convention of Los Angeles-based weight management product company Herbalife’s top distributors.

By most accounts, MBS is one of the best-performing properties under Las Vegas Sands, the gaming corporation helmed by Sheldon Adelson. The dramatic architecture of its three curved hotel towers, topped with the world’s biggest cantilever, has become an iconic representation of Singapore; more than a million pictures of its 57th-floor infinity pool are posted on social media. The complex, completed and opened nine years ago, was built at a cost of about $8 billion. Now, Las Vegas Sands will spend another $4.5 billion on expansion — a fourth, 1,000-suite hotel tower, a 15,000-seat entertainment arena and an additional 1,000 gaming machines on the casino floor.

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