$4B Manila mega-casino complex to open in March

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A general view shows a vast land where the multibillion-dollar Entertainment City will open when the first of four franchise-holders starts commercial operations in mid-March 2013. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

MANILA, Philippines—A $4-billion mega-casino complex is set to open in Manila in mid-March when the first of four franchise-holders starts commercial operations, the parent firm said in a disclosure released Wednesday.

The $1.2-billion Solaire Manila Resorts is one of four gaming operations licensed to operate at Manila’s bayside Entertainment City, a government project designed to compete with Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore as a gaming hub.

Boasting 500 hotel rooms set in modern resorts, Solaire will open its doors on March 16, parent company Bloomberry Resorts Corp. said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“[We] confirm that [Bloomberry’s] Solaire Manila Resorts and Casino has collected the top former operating officers of world-renowned casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of the world,” it said in a letter to the exchange.

The Feb. 5 letter, released by the bourse Wednesday, said these personnel include around 400 Filipinos who have worked in gaming and hotels across the world.

Solaire plans to add 300 more hotel rooms after two years, said Bloomberry, a listed firm controlled by port tycoon Enrique Razon.

Two other franchise-holders—one involving Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau gaming tycoon Lawrence Ho as shareholders and another with Japanese gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada—are also building at the complex.

The 100-hectare (247-acre) Entertainment City, a project of the state-owned gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., required each of the franchise-holders to invest at least $1 billion.

A unit of global leisure and entertainment group Genting Hong Kong Ltd. is a key investor in the fourth franchise.

Bloomberry said it could not confirm a local news report that the entire Entertainment City project would generate annual revenues of at least $10 billion by 2017, putting it among the world’s gaming big leagues.

Spokespersons for the regulator could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, while Solaire has not responded to AFP’s requests for an interview.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MESKVVF473U4YSVN343XOT2XLE kram

    A big accomplishment of Pnoy! ang maraming pasugalan sa Pilipinas….Congrats!

  • tekateka

     I don’t think these Casinos will complete with the others in the Region.. Metro Manila has nothing to offer but Garbage and Hoodlums.. It should have been in Cebu or Bohol… where Nature is an attraction itself to foreign high rollers…     CBCP- SHUTUP!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYP657UPAXCUFUKIPGLZR7ZBPQ HaroldT

    Yup!!!They(CBCP)were quiet during Arroyo years!!!They LOVE being Pharisees and Sadducees of our time!!!CHICHING!!!!

  • GKLer

    No protest from CBCP?  Donation must have been huge.

  • rjimenez1226

    Good for Manila tourism. The Philippines will  be unbeatable in five years time. 20 million tourists coming to the country is possible. Build an iconic tower in Manila Bay, invite Disneyland,  wipe out corrupt cops, build a new airport,  and turn the city a cultural and green mecca, move out squatters out of Manila and allow more foreign airlines to have direct flights to other cities in the country such as Cebu, Iloilo, Laoag, Bacolod and Davao.

    • tekateka

       This is only possible if Metro Manila has only half of its current population…  but for now.. it’s just Garbage and Squatters all over… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillipmonline Phillip Drm

     I think the public needs more information on this casino deal with the government. Like how much is the expected government revenue will be generated by this project? How much will be funds will be repatriated by these investors to their home countries? What percentage of the Casinos Management is Filipinos? Does the contract include full Filipinization of this casinos workforce, time-table? Is the Immigration Department involved in the agreement limiting the visa with no extension given to foreign nationals who initially manage the project? Will Filipino employees have stock shares included in their remuneration packages? How much of the casinos disposable assets, supplies, and service agreements are sourced from Philippine companies? Is it part of the contract? Are the suppliers of these Casino establishments sourced from local sources or will they import supplies from the investors’ home countries? Will this project be favorable for our country’s dollar reserves or eat-up on our country’s dollar reserves?   Will these Casinos be eventually listed in Philippine Stock Exchange so that it will be eventually wholly owned by our countrymen?  

    • okabato

      Your questions say it all: No foreign controlled casinos in the Philippines. But they are here now so you should know the answers to your queries.

  • julieboy

    Hope the money the Govt. makes will go to good use..Look at Macau and Vegas,they make so much money there is no sales tax,so maybe the VAT in Pasay should be cancelled.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    The picture from Inquirer photographers is worth 4 billion words.
    It says that the vast $4billion Entertainment City is really a WASTELAND.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CCBRBUIUEEOG5PSM3AT6LFJ3NI Frank

      A wasteland? We are talking about an investments worth $4 billion dollars. That’s close to P200 billion pesos! Do you think the investors are just a bunch of idiots? They are investing that much money because of the potential to make money in return. Just get a life, if all you can think is just negative!!!

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