Singapore's Resorts World Sentosa said Tuesday it will open phase one of the city-state's first casino complex on January 20, beginning operations at four luxury hotels.

Festive Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Crockfords Tower and Hotel Michael will open their doors on January 20, offering 1,350 rooms and 10 restaurants, it said in a statement.

Resorts World Sentosa said it is working with authorities to obtain approvals for its Universal Studios Singapore theme park and will announce the opening date for the casino when it receives notice of its licence.

The casino and theme park are expected to open in "early 2010," it said.

A marine life park, expected to be the biggest in the world, a maritime museum, a spa and two more hotels will be launched after 2010.

The development, located on Singapore's Sentosa island, is built by Malaysian gaming giant Genting Group at a cost of 4.4 billion US dollars.

Marina Bay Sands, another casino resort being built by US gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands, is scheduled to open in April following delays in the construction.

Adelson said last month that the delays were caused by monsoon rains and financial problems facing some subcontractors.

Singapore in 2005 gave the go ahead for legalised casino gambling, allowing two casinos to be built in the city-state.

The government hopes the casinos will boost the country's tourism appeal and draw more visitors to the small island-republic which relies mainly on man-made attractions to entice tourists.